Little Patience For Pocket Passers

January 31st, 2014

Kurt Warner understands the pressure on Mike Glennon

Mobile quarterbacks don’t just buy time on the field — they also buy time for their careers. That was the word from potential Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner.

Warner and Joe talked about quarterback play at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday. Warner deeply feels the challenge facing immobile young QBs like Mike Glennon. Warner says he was that guy.

Warner’s Greatest Show on Turf had nothing to do with Warner using his legs. He averaged less than 1.5 carries per start during his career.

In today’s game, the patience for a pocket passer is thinning, per Warner, because the multi-dimensional QB likely will get more time to prove himself and, subsequently, more time to develop.

“I think, just based on this new age of quarterback, the quarterback that has the ability to move, has the ability to create, I think that buys you time now in the NFL that guys like me didn’t really have,” Warner said. “I mean, pocket passers, you didn’t have a chance to make a lot of mistakes in the pocket, because if you make a mistake in the pocket, it’s an interception; it’s going the other direction. Young quarterbacks that are athletic, but now they’re not really sure what they’re seeing, or really sure where to throw it to, now you tuck it and run and you tuck it and create a play; and I think those guys are having a lot more success early in their careers than just prototypical, dropback quarterbacks do. So, yeah, I think it’s going to create opportunities for these guys to grow and have a little bigger learning curve because of it versus the pocket passer.”

Warner had instant, huge success when he finally got his shot in St. Louis at 27 years old.

Guys in the Mike Glennon mold also will need quick results in order to keep starting jobs, Warner said, especially when they aren’t top draft picks.

Joe agrees with Warner that a dual-threat QB will get more rope to prove himself. It’s an interesting analysis.

Fair or not, those are the demands of owners and fans. Hope and/or results are necessary, and an immobile QB often looks a lot worse than a mobile one when he’s struggling. Heck, Josh Freeman likely gets another job in the NFL likely, in part, because a team will believe he can scramble effectively and improvise.

61 Responses to “Little Patience For Pocket Passers”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    Freeman will get another back up job sure. The bum will never start again though, unless someone gets injured and he has a job handed to him.

  2. buc89 Says:

    I’ve always liked hearing Warner’s opinion on quarterbacks. One of the few media analysts that doesn’t blow smoke up your ass

  3. BFFL Says:

    yeah but the immobile QBs always end up being the best because they have to rely on accuracy and out thinking the opponent. Glennon is smart and accurate so he has a chance.

  4. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Getting very tired of the “Glennon’s not our guy” rants and post. I get it already. The Johnny “spoiled rotten” Football man crush continues.

    How about something on how the O-line needs fixing, or TE, or DE. I know its got to be tough coming up with content during the offseason, but these Glennon rants got old several weeks ago. Joe its your site, write what you want, just my take.

    How exactly is Kurt Warner’s fresh take on a QB trend in the NFL old and tired and have anything to do with Johnny Football?–Joe

  5. Captain Stagger Says:

    I’ll take a smart QB over a mobile QB any day.

  6. run to daylight Says:

    How many running QB’s will never be the same after they sustain an RG3 type injury? Some owners will take the risk, others will not. I would not.

  7. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Smart and accurate with the ability to get the ball there (not a noodle arm) is what’s important.

    I’ve been hearing about mobile QBs being the future since Randall Cunningham.

  8. ROBERT6 Says:

    what aou ask he question.

    is nicks or Joseph the answer a OL
    is Spence, clayorn or bowers the answer on DL

    etc. etc.

  9. Orca Says:

    Been said before. The essentials of QB play: accuracy, consistency, leadership, ability to read a defense, ability to learn an offense. Optional, but nice to have: running ability. In the playoffs, more than half the QBs fit the statue mold as opposed to the running QB mold. I’d rather have a mobile QB, but any assertion that Glennon can’t get it done because of his lack of mobility is bunk. It’s noise.

  10. PRBucFan Says:

    I concur Couch

    And this is what I have been saying all along.

    “Unless Glennon can learn to compensate for his lack of escapability, he won’t last in todays NFL.”

  11. Nick H Says:

    Warner’s right, they may get more time to develop but it doesn’t mean it’s a better option for a franchise. Go ahead and run down the list of Super Bowl winners, mobile isn’t the adjective you would use to describe any of them. Big Ben and Aaron Rodgers can move a bit but they’re certainly better known for things other than their mobility. Escapability is more fitting.

    I understand where he’s coming from but I’m not ready to hang it up as a lost cause because our QB isn’t a Kaep or Russell Wilson, Glennon does have to have a pretty decent camp/season if he expects to get a longer rope though.

  12. Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says:

    I’ve often wondered why the traditional drop-back and dig yourself-in approach to QB-ing has been the norm for so long, especially after growing up watching Fran Tarkenton wreck havoc back in the 60’s and 70’s on my childhood favorite team, Green Bay.

    The game has changed a lot since then, especially over the last decade. Players have certainly gotten bigger and stronger, are a lot more athletic, and seem to train pretty much all year round now. In today’s game, if a QB is not mobile, then they better be above average in some other way (as with Manning it’s the cerebral side) or be paired up with the right coach/system (Brady) .

    Certainly winning in today’s game with just an average Joe at QB surrounded by a great defense is harder than ever. I wonder if the ’02 Bucs with an average QB like Brad Johnson could even reach the SB in today’s game. I think Warner’s analysis is spot on. So is Joe’s analysis. Glennon has the skill set to be an average, throw-back QB. I too want more for the Bucs than that.

  13. Kansasbuc Says:

    Glennon is not all that immobile. He did move around in the pocket and pick up yardage with his feet during the season. Now, he is no Kapernick or Wilson but he is not an “immobile” QB neither.

  14. andres Says:

    Dood you know DB is up for HOF tomorrow? Shouldn’t you be covering that, at least a little bit?

    Joe’s written about that several times. There’s not much to say. Brooks is 100 percent deserving and will get in. Joe will be all over it Saturday night. –Joe

  15. Kansasbuc Says:

    @ Captain Stagger

    I agree. I would rather have a QB that uses his mind to outsmart defenders than a QB that relies on his ability to run away from defenders.

    I don’t agree that mobile QBs have will have longer careers than “pocket passers”

    Mobile QBs will probably have their careers shorten due to getting hit a lot (i.e. RGIII’s injury list).

    Pocket Passers know how to get the ball out faster to avoid getting hit.

  16. Couch Fan Says:

    I rather he have pocket mobility and awareness rather than just mobility.

  17. Kansasbuc Says:

    @Couch Fan

    Yeah, but Russell Wilson’s at not a “dime-a-dozen”. Usually you have to choose between the two. VERY RARELY do you get both in one guy

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Joe has a Glennon obsession. That’s all fine and dandy, but this team has many holes besides QB. Yet they don’t get talked about all that much anymore. It’s 80% Glennon-speak on JBF these days.

    Let’s get real. Joe looks at the home page now at 1 p.m. and sees two out of 10 stories about Glennon. –Joe

    Doing my best David Lee Roth impersonation of DaveTV:

    Welcome to Where it’s all Glennon all the time!

  19. scott hunter Says:

    im just gona put this out there……..if glennon is our starter…im gona be pissed….id rather have vick, shaubb, bridgewater or garrapolo

  20. andres Says:

    Thanks Joe. can’t wait for your take after DB gets in!

  21. scott hunter Says:

    there is absolutely nothing in mike glennon that gets you excited……nothing………a broke mans drew bleadsoe….and thats a smack in the fACE to bleadsoe

  22. MTM Says:

    Nice to hear an immobile QB make that statement. I hope the Bucs bring in another QB that is an athletic not a yard statue like the current Bucs QB.

  23. buccanAy Says:

    @leftcoast because it wins games consistantly. Brady, Brees, Manning, Manning, Rothlisberger, doug Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Dan fouts, Kurt Warner, Joe Montana. Now there are a few like Rodgers, Steve Young, Elway and Favre who had some escapabilty, but they were pocket-passers first and foremost. Of course, it would be great to have a Brady that ran like Kaepernick, but I’ve yet to see a Qb like Griffith, Kap have any sustained success. cam Newton could be one, time will tell, but a qb’s job is to deliver the ball to his receivers, and stay out of harms way if possible. will give you Fran Tarkenton, but todays LB’s and DE’s are MUCH faster.

  24. PRBucFan Says:

    Again you guys are confusing our desire for a “pocket passing QB” with escapability with us wanting a run first type QB lol.

    Not the case

  25. buccanAy Says:

    @scott what was it that you so that was so exciting in Nick Foles?
    And BTW, I’d argue Drew Bledsoe was better than any Qb the Buc have had in 20 years

  26. buchead407 Says:

    Freeman will start for the raiders next year

  27. Kevin Says:

    Scott I disagree….If Glennon shows to handle the load better than someone we draft or obtain through Free agency. then I want him to start. He was a rookie that got thrown into a poor team poor offense with poor coaching, a page of injuries and about 40 dropped passes from Vjax. Those aren’t excuses. If you woulda put Matt Ryan in his place last year you think they woulda done any better. Or if Glennon Qb’d for the Falcons last year would they have gotten one less win? There are a lot of pieces that go into it and it would be foolish to assume he won’t be the guy without giving him a shot. I’m thrilled that we have an OC that has FULL CONTROL over his offense. Thats what we’ve needed and hopefully he put’s up. And please I would take Glennon over Schaub any day please Schaub SUCKS!!!

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    lol Joe I was just effin with ya.

  29. Tgreg Says:

    Great job Joe. You are now 18-1-1 on your Glennon bashing quest! Maybe if you offer a bottle of Bushmills to a janitor there you can get it to 18-2-1.

  30. pelbuc Says:

    JFF, I’ll never understand how Freeman was given 5 YEARS before the Bucs gave up on him. Actually HE gave up on the Bucs. But Glennon is considered the worst QB in our division and not the answer after 12 games. Give the kid a fair chance, he was thrown into a mess with a terrible Oline, no TE, no running game, no receiver other than VJ ( who had a bad case of the drops early in the season), an incompetent coaching staff and a below average defense. In spite of all this, the rookie did pretty darn well and he’s shown he’s a hard worker and smart. Before we all reach a verdict on Glennon, let’s see how he does with the new coaching regime and try to get him some protection and better weapons.

  31. d-money Says:

    As much as i complain about the Glennon talk this is an interesting take from a guy who has been there.

    He’s right, people are impatient with the pocket passers because when things don’t go well they don’t have the ability to scramble and make plays with their feet. But iven time to develop they won’t need to make plays with their feet because they are usually more adept at reading defenses and getting rid of the ball quickly.

    All these scrambling QB’s are entertaining to watch but if you want to win long term you need a solid pocket passser.

    The two best QB’s in the game for the last 10 years are pure pocket passers.

  32. Lou. Says:

    The argument about running qbacks in the NFL goes back at least to Tarkington (scrambler) and Staubach (a runner). As one db put it, “A little kid can run around the ‘hood, but the big kids will catch ’em sometime. And when they catch ’em they will hurt ’em.”

  33. Barry Says:

    Todays read option QBs are Fools gold. Give me a pocket passer any day.

  34. Lou. Says:

    Actually, the Bucs have drafted one franchise quarterback — Doug Williams. He was there at #17 because of the prejudice against black qbs.

  35. Lou. Says:

    @Barry — Great point about the read-option. Sounds like the veer-option or wishbone college qbs of old. The college game now includes passing, but it is remarkable how quickly and well the pro defensive coordinators dealt with the new option.

    On a related note, Isn ‘t it remarkable how the relative stock of Russell Wilson has fallen. He has a great running/power team around him, but does anyone else get the feeling he would be much less celebrated on other teams?

  36. PRBucFan Says:

    Again you guys are confusing our desire for a “pocket passing QB” with escapability with the assumption that you cant be a pocket passer if you have good escapability.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Captain Stagger Says
    “I’ll take a smart QB over a mobile QB any day.”

    Um…why can a mobile QB not be smart as well?


    Orca Says
    “Been said before. The essentials of QB play: accuracy, consistency, leadership, ability to read a defense, ability to learn an offense. Optional, but nice to have, running ability.”

    I understand the point that Warner is making, and I agree with him. But Orca is correct also.

    Warner is speaking in regard to a QB having time to develop. It takes time to develop accuracy, consistency, leadership, ability to read a defense, and ability to learn an NFL offense.

    Warner is saying that being a mobile QB helps make plays while still in the learning process. I think he is right about that.

    As to those saying a pocket passer is better than a mobile QB, or vica-versa, I think the truth is closer to a blend of both.

    Personally, I think about 65% pocket passer to 35% mobile is the best combination.

  38. BucfaninMO Says:

    Warner also had Orlando Pace protecting his blind side, 2 stud receivers, and one of the best ball catching running backs to play the game.
    Big difference

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Couch Fan Says
    “Freeman will get another back up job sure. The bum will never start again though, unless someone gets injured and he has a job handed to him.”

    I think that depends on his attitude. A lot of the things said about him over the last year were misleading or false.

    For example, the rumors that he was not a leader. That was completely false, because he was often the first in and the last to leave. He arranged get-togethers with teammates to hold a player only camp each year, and in the lockout off season he held multiple camps.

    That is leadership.

    As to whether or not he’ll become a starter again…I can’t honestly say he won’t. Neither can you. Not honestly. Not unless you are Doctor Who and traveled to the future to check the records.

  40. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says
    “In today’s game, if a QB is not mobile, then they better be above average in some other way (as with Manning it’s the cerebral side) or be paired up with the right coach/system (Brady).”

    Best Point Made!!!!

    Take a good look at the 5 best QBs in the league. Each of them has this statement in common.

  41. Buc1987 Says:

    A pocket passer (Manning) is going to beat a scrambler (Wilson) this Sunday.

    Just like a pocket passer (Flacco) beat a scrambler (Kaepernik) in the last SB.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    @Bonzai…have you ever seen Brees fire up his team before a game? Have you ever seen Brady on the sidelines running up to each player and firing them up during a game? What about Manning as well? Those are leaders.

    I don’t recall Josh doing any of that all that often….

  43. Jeff78280z Says:

    The mobile QB verses pocket passer debate makes me laugh a little bit. When a mobile read option QB gets drafted because of his athleticism. Said QB gets two seasons of running for his life. By the third season and a couple injuries later they try to coach him to stay in the pocket and let the play develop. Happens all the time. They draft these kids because they are read option mobile guys then they realize these kids are going get injured a lot. Then try to turn them into a pocket passer. The simple truth is mobile run at the first sign of trouble QB’s don’t develop the skill set of quickly going through there progressions and reading a defense. Some of them learn but they are miles behind a pocket passer in those regards by by year three. If these mobile QB’s want to play more than 3 or 4 yrs they better learn to make plays with their arms and brains. Cause being athletic will only get them so far.

  44. Buc1987 Says:

    Bonzai…Brees, Manning, and Br-ady are constantly firing up there team before and during the game. That is what a leader is. You ever seen Brees before kickoff? Freeman doesn’t have it in him.

    I don’t recall Freeman doing that all that often.

    The Vikings players validated his work ethic as well or did you miss that article?

    2 teams said he’s late for practice and meetings. That’s NOT a leader, that’s a loser.

    I thought we could just move on from this subject, but I guess not. Thanks a lot Couch. lol

  45. PRBucFan Says:

    Wilson is considered a passer

    Kap is a runner

  46. PRBucFan Says:

    Wilson = A passer who can run

  47. PRBucFan Says:

    So because he “acted” like a leader once in a while he’s a leader?

    False true leadership is shown in your lifestyle and he proved otherwise and failed his team.

    That’s not leadership

  48. Couch Fan Says:

    Hey Joe brought Freeman up not me. Lol, but I rather talk about FreeWee or any 4th or 5th year Qb rather than listen to people rag on a rookie that had a decent to good rookie season.

  49. Fritz50 Says:

    “JFF, I’ll never understand how Freeman was given 5 YEARS before the Bucs gave up on him.”

    In my opinion, it’s because he had that one good season, right, smack, dab in the middle of that run. If he’d started with 3 bad seasons, that probably would have been that. Still I’m all for sticking with Glennon, until someone shows they’re better, just don’t see any reason not to have competition, as long as its fair. Even up reps with the 1st team, same plays called, & so forth & so on. There are just so many ways a coaching staff can manipulate things to get the result they want. Such manipulation could badly affect both players, potentially. Even the ‘Favored’ player can see the manipulation & would have to wonder when it’ll be his turn on the other side of things. We’ll have to wait & see the New Smith Order wrks out.

    “The Smiths are out to conquer the world…through indescriminate breeding”

  50. PRBucFan Says:

    “In today’s game, if a QB is not mobile, then they better be above average in some other way (as with Manning it’s the cerebral side) or be paired up with the right coach/system (Br-ady).”

    This is only the drum I’ve been beating everyday on these threads about those non mobile QB’s who are successful in this league being so by “compensating” for their lack of mobility by elevating other areas.

    Glad someone else see’s it like that.

  51. Drew Says:

    Mobile QB’s become a necessity when the O-Line is weak or breaks down. Escape ability on the other hand is the ability to feel where the pressure is coming from and stepping up into the pocket or side stepping the pressure while keeping your eyes down field. Glennon showed some decent mobility, escape ability and awareness in 2013 behind a weak O-line. So he deserves a chance to build on this in 2014.

    There’s absolutely no need to draft a QB this year.

  52. Rob Says:

    This debate isn’t really much of a debate at this point…. look at the last 10 or 15 Super Bowl winners. A few can run a little bit, but the RGIII’s and Michael Vick’s of the world aren’t winning championships. Flacco, Brees, Warner, Rothisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson, Dilfer, Rodgers, and on Sunday another statue is going to beat another mobile passer.

    Being mobile is nice, but pocket passing is still far more important than scrambling.

  53. PRBucFan Says:

    Escapability and mobility go hand in hand.

    Once a d lineman beats his man Glennon is done

  54. Burg Says:

    Bortles is the best of both worlds

  55. Buc1987 Says:

    PRB…for a guy who doesn’t run Wilson sure runs a helluva lot. 96 attempts!

  56. Buc1987 Says:

    O a passer who can run. I missed that one.

    Another thing I’m already missing is Buccaneer football. It’s going to be a loooooong off season if I’m already missing my team. Oh well they have work to do and lots to fix. Good luck Lovie…your gonna need it.

  57. Bucs55 Says:


    it’s called pocket awareness if Glennon develops that with a quick release then he would b perfectly fine the same as Brady and manning have been doing for years you don’t need to run out the pocket every time you get rushed they are called underneath routes for a reasonand mmovement in the pocket like a step up are better then just running out of it because you completely take away one side of the field

  58. Paul Says:

    Glennon isn’t an immobile QB. That’s a media misconception from writers that don’t watch the games. He might not be an option QB, but he’s still got good pocket presence and mobility.

  59. bucemup Says:

    If Wilson win’s…point taken. If. He doesn’t he’s just another scrambling QB with a great defence. That could not manage a win on the big stage. Unlike statues like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer.

  60. PRBucFan Says:

    Bucs55 who said I said you have to run out of the pocket?

    Your saying the same thing I said, IF Glennon can learn to compensate for his lack of escapability by elevating other areas of his game like every other QB who lacks escapability has than yes he can succeed.

    But that’s a major IF and I don’t see it happening

  61. PRBucFan Says:

    Wilson’s not a runner first 😉