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Rating Aaron Rodgers: Pocket Presence

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Avoiding sacks is the responsibility of the quarterback at least as much as it is for his blockers. I've seen a lot of quarterbacks run right into sacks when the offensive lineman is doing a pretty good job blocking. This came up in a recent article by Dan Pompei about immobile Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett for the National Football Post:

Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub and Kyle Orton aren’t going to form a relay team, but they all have pocket presence. There really isn’t a quarterback who is having success in the NFL who, either with his feet, his release, his mind or a combination of the three, can’t avoid a pass rusher.

The first thing I noticed was he didn't mention Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, while also mentioning Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, and Drew Brees favorably. Maybe it's not a surprise that Pompei didn't run through the list of every successful quarterback. Or maybe Rodgers is still viewed poorly, in general, due to his massive sack total in 2009.

I've always thought Rodgers was very good at feeling pressure, and knowing when to run out of the pocket. Either when he's looking to throw on the run, or scramble for a few yards. Though the risk of concussions has made me willing to see him sacrifice his rushing yards in the future. But maybe I'm wrong and he's lousy at feeling pressure in the pocket.