Aqib Talib: Tom Brady Is The Only Pocket Passer That Can Win

March 2nd, 2021

NFL offenses have steadily changed while Tom Brady keeps looking like a superstar quarterback from another generation.

He can pull it off. Matt Ryan, for example, cannot.

The days of the statue quarterback are over unless you’re the Tampa Bay QB, says retired Bucs, Broncos, Rams and Belicheats cornerback great Aqib Talib.

Co-hosting on SiriusXM NFL Radio recently, Talib was talking about defending mobile quarterbacks and permanent changes to the QB position when he referenced Brady out of nowhere.

“If you’re a sitting duck in that pocket, your last name better be Brady,” Talib said. “If it’s not, I don’t know if you fit in this league no more. Tom about the only guy who still look like a world champion sitting in that pocket. You know he’s not going to run and and he still can dice your team up.”

Talib is on the money and it makes Brady’s recent accomplishments more stunning.

As for Brady and other QBs forcing themselves away from the clubs where they made their name, Talib expects it to continue, in part because of what Brady pulled off.

Remember, Brady had a can’t-franchise-me clause added to his final New England contract, one that made him a true free agent a year ago.

Talib said more name players are learning the business side of football, which includes being able to “Big Dog your way out” of a team. Talib explained that’s how he got himself to the Rams, making it clear that he’d only play for the Rams, Cowboys or return to the Belicheats.

37 Responses to “Aqib Talib: Tom Brady Is The Only Pocket Passer That Can Win”

  1. PassingThru Says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to be a pocket passer, but the QB needs a similar skill set to Thomas Brady:

    Great vision
    Reads defenses before the snap
    Reacts to defensive shifts after the snap
    Has a quick release
    Processes the action on the field within 2 seconds
    Throws with anticipation
    Pocket presence; stands tall and anticipates pressure
    Outstanding footwork within the pocket
    A crazy obsession with the game, so that the QB understands that playbook cover to cover, and spends countless hours studying film

    Am I missing anything? The arm of course is very important. Brady has a good arm, but it isn’t elite like his other tools. Oh, and a wife who understands. Give Giselle credit for staying sane.

  2. Adrnagy Says:

    That’s why rob is out to coach … for more pocket passer qb

    Rob Gronkowski will coach against Tedy Bruschi in Arizona’s spring football game

  3. Miller5252 Says:

    I get what Talib is saying…. but if you’re a mobile QB I don’t think you’re gonna have a long lasting career in the NFL. Even Wilson is asking for O line help now because of the abuse he’s taken. All the running QB’s in past have had injuries stop them and once they did, their arm and accuracy wasn’t good enough to carry them. I just look at Cam as the latest. So yes the mobile QB is the newest thing, but if you don’t learn to not take the hits, you’re not gonna last.

  4. Robert Says:

    good assessment passing. also note that he’ll throw it away within about 2 seconds if needed and has some shiftiness and shoulder moves to get away….if they bring pressure up the middle though……. good thing VV is on our team!

    I disagree with the pocket passer is done though…… the league is just more focused on QB’s who can run, which just takes away from their pocket game. Look where that got PM.

    Probably why TB is still solid at 43, he doesn’t run 400 yards a game and take too many big hits. PM will have a few years left if he keeps playing games like the SB. lol

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:


  6. Bird Says:

    Matty ice just goes by Matt (now)


    Brady has career rushing yards at around 1000. For 20 seasons worth with playoffs too. Mobile as a boat anchor

  7. BucDan Says:

    BucDan’s Opinions on the makings of a QB that can lead a team to victory –

    – Known to throw dimes more often than not (comp. % > 60)
    – Can throw dimes under duress
    – Knows the playbook aka can progress through reads in the pocket while internal clock is ticking
    – Can determine where the free rush is coming from and identify the hot route
    – Has an o-line that does not collapse in under 2 seconds

    The last one is big because it is what allows a player like Brady to thrive, while even a player like Mahomes can struggle.

  8. Cannon Says:

    One can also lay blame at so many options running the spread/option offense.

  9. Cannon Says:

    ^ ugh… that got mangled…

    I meant to say “blame colleges running the spread/option offense”

  10. Adrnagy Says:

    Report: Colts would host Bucs for 17th game in 2021

    Going to 17 games I can only think about depth/ rotation and mobile QB.

  11. FlBoy84 Says:

    Completely agree @Miller5252. The running QB is definitely exciting to watch for fans/media, but it’s rare that they have long and lasting NFL careers, though there are a couple of exceptions (Mike Vick being the prime example). Guys like Favre, McNabb, Tarkenton, Young and Cunningham were some of the best at combining both mobility with a solid pocket presence. That’s the ideal combination imo, though as Brady proves, having an exceptional mental mastery of the game and of pocket awareness can more than make up for limited mobility.

  12. Allbuccedup Says:

    Pocket passers still can be very successfull provided you have a good OLine. For example teams like the seahawks do not put enough attention to the OLine because of mobile Russell Wilson. But now Wilson is running for his life every week. As long as you have a good OLine quarterbacks will succeed mobile or immobile.

  13. Mitch Says:

    The Seahawks don’t put a whole lot into their offensive line and there are issues there. However, Russel Wilson sacks himself by how long he holds on to the football. He lead the league with 14 sacks last year that he caused, and took more hits too because he couldn’t make a decision.

    It’s not always all on the oline. See Winston Vs Brady ( in sacks taken).

  14. Youngbucs Says:

    In my opinion this is completely false, this same thing has been said many times before. And many years over these narratives never change. Why are some of these mobile QBs some of the most sacked???? Why haven’t they won more????

  15. Hissylizzard Says:

    The probelm lies with the players and the coaches
    ..more offesne are set up by scheme and playcalling coaches….and the players dont so the homework to learn to read defense they rely on atheticism to extend plays and wait for the broken coverage,etc..its more prevailant now because teams are in a win now mode….Brady doesn’t solely rely on a coach and scheme
    …He knows the offense and coaches players around him..manning was thr same
    …theSE.qbs now just want the.comtract and their brand to be known

  16. JerseyBuc Says:

    Wouldn’t mind picking up a Mac Jones to learn behind Brady but I am guessing we are all in again for next year. Which I am all for

  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Brady is just so good that he beats you with not only his arm and accuracy, but his mind and experience. We are so fortunate to have him!

  18. geno711 Says:

    I think Talib has a point in regards to in season day in and day out of defending a quarterback; But Super Bowl winning QB’s are not exactly high RPO guys.

    55 – Brady
    54 – Mahomes – yes
    53 – Brady
    52 – Foles
    51 – Brady
    50 – Peyton
    49 – Brady
    48 – Wilson – yes
    47 – Flacco
    46 – Eli
    45- Rodgers – yes at that stage
    44 – Brees

  19. tbbucs3 Says:

    The NFL will always be a 3rd down league and you’ll always need a QB who can make that play from the pocket. Its why teams are starting to figure out how to defend Lamar Jackson.

    If Talib were to say the days of average pocket passers like Goff, Jimmy Garrapollo and Joe Flacco are starting to fade then I would agree with him. But plenty of talented pocket passers not named Brady are still out there like Justin Herbert and Matt Stafford.

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It’s all a balance in the end.

    Tom Brady is the most clutch team winning QB of all time basically and it isn’t close. He knows how to take whatever team he’s on and win, regardless of the team makeup and strengths/weaknesses.

  21. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    The problem with mobile qbs is they all rely too much on their athletic ability to make things happen. They will never become the greats like Brady, Brees and Manning because these three use their brains first then their arms because they sure enough couldn’t use their legs1! Reading defenses before the snap is a quality not many have. If Justin Hebert ever learns that, he will be a most dangerous qb for a very long time!


    Justin Hebert is more of a pocket passer, he will definitely be a winner.

  23. The Red Mirage Says:

    Good ole Talib, such a wordsmith.

  24. MDFree Says:

    The league has definitely been trending in the direction of making mobile qbs the norm but I think there is an important distinction between mobile qbs and running qbs. Running qbs actively look to to run when the play breaks down and their first couple reads aren’t there. They usually incorporate designed runs as well. Mobile qbs will look to extend a play and utilize getting out of the pocket to find recievers downfield. Their career longevity isn’t threatened as much because roughing penalties still protect them as a passer whereas qbs who establish themselves as a rusher can get smacked and their bodies take a pounding. Lamar Jackson is obviously a running qb but guys like Pat mahomes, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, hell even Jameis Winston know how to get outside of the pocket and extend plays.


    Justin Hebert will be a winning pocket passer

  26. Youngbucs Says:

    Justin Herbert is mobile and yes he is very good.

  27. steve gaudreau Says:

    Brady’s only significant injury was his knee in 2008. It was barely a hit too. Even in slo mo it looked like a very routine hit. I’ve seen him take worse and pop right back up. Ironic that it was against the Cheifs, no wonder he wants to beat them every time they play.

  28. Bradley Brown Says:

    PassingThru… I’d say anybody who throws for two bills and three touchdowns and zero interceptions and wins the superbowl has an “elite” (🙄) arm.
    How did mahomes’s “elite” arm fare in SBLV?

  29. JimBuc2 Says:

    @Steve G. For future reference. Oldest spelling rule in existence: ‘I’ before ‘E’, except after ‘C’. Chiefs. Reciept. Decide, etc.
    All Hail Mike Greenberg, peerless Buc capologist. Mayor Castor should name a park, street, or bridge after this after this behind-the-curtain wizard.

  30. Swampbuc Says:

    Everyone’s forgetting about Mike Glennon!

    Oh, wait…….

  31. Trey Long Says:

    People love saying His arm isn’t elite.
    Bret Favre said Brady most accurate ever, threw 61 to Mahomes 62 in a speed test last year, led league in completions over 20 yards, threw 50 tds, and won Super Bowl. Sounds pretty frigging elite to me.

  32. Oneilbuc Says:


  33. PassingThru Says:

    Late night definition:

    When people talk about arm talent, “elite arm” is not the same as accuracy. It’s velocity and distance. For example, Josh Allen always had an elite arm, even when he sucked at accuracy in college and as a rookie. Brady has excellent velocity at the first two levels of the field, but not on deep passes. He has a very good arm, but it isn’t even “near elite”. That’s one of the reasons why Brady was drafted at 199: Poor athleticism and just a good not great arm.

    That’s why the vertical passing game morphed into a horizontal passing game late in the season. It’s no coincidence that is also when the Tampa Bay offense gained traction.

  34. View from 132 Says:

    Justin Herbert

  35. Brandon Says:

    Rivers, Brees, Roethlisberger, and to a lesser extent, Rodgers, are all pocket passers… and all took their teams to the playoffs along with Brady.

  36. Rob F Says:

    This is a dumb take. Here’s a list of Super Bowl winning QB’s since 2000:

    Peyton Manning
    Eli Manning
    Aaron Rodgers
    Drew Brees
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Brad Johnson
    Trent Dilfer
    Kurt Warner

    There are a few mobile guys in there, and plenty who aren’t so mobile.

  37. lambchop Says:

    Yea, cuz so many mobile QBs have won multiple Super Bowls and played 20+ years in the league!? LOL. There is a HUGE landslide advantage to the number of pocket passers that have won Super Bowls compared to mobile QBs.

    There has never been a more dangerous time for mobile QBs than recent times. With how the NFL has put a skirt on QBs in the pocket, you better be well aware that defenders will take their shot every chance they can when the QB is out of the pocket or on the run. Heads will roll. Once a mobile QB gets injured, watch how their whole style of play changes. And if mobility is your only claim to fame, then you’re finished.

    C’mon, man!