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michael89156

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: January 14, 2013, 12:01:13 AM



NFL column: Mobile QBs changing game

 By IRA KAUFMAN| The Tampa Tribune
Published: January 12, 2013






TAMPA --


 In these pass-happy times, NFL quarterbacks still do the bulk of their damage from the pocket.

But when the new breed takes off on the run, that's when the real heartache begins. Six of the nine quarterbacks who rushed for more than 250 yards this season led their clubs into the playoffs, representing half the postseason field.

Three were rookies Washington's Robert Griffin III, Seattle's Russell Wilson and Indianapolis' Andrew Luck while San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick and Minnesota's Christian Ponder are second-year pros.

The only veteran in the group is Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, who runs just often and well enough to bedevil defensive backs.

"People have all kinds of arguments with the guys playing today,'' Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN analyst Steve Young said. "If you have learned the position, which is to deliver the ball from the pocket, if you've mastered it, you're on your way. But being able to move around is just a huge advantage fact.''

Luck and Griffin were eliminated in the opening playoff round, but Wilson heads into the Georgia Dome today to take on the NFC's No. 1 seed.

While Griffin and second-year pro Cam Newton combined for 1,556 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, Wilson ran for 489 yards as a third-round draft pick out of Wisconsin.

The Seahawks take a six-game winning streak into today's matchup and Wilson's 27 touchdown passes topped Peyton Manning's previous record for rookie quarterbacks.

"They've kind of changed their offensive philosophy with the new quarterback and he's doing an outstanding job,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Russell Wilson can extend plays. When he goes back to pass, he's a guy that can turn a five-second play into 12 or 13 seconds. That can cause issues for guys in coverage.''

The old quarterback vanguard was still well represented as Manning and Tom Brady led the Broncos and Patriots to the AFC's top two playoff seeds.

But the times they are a-changin' and the next generation of NFL quarterbacks relishes the opportunity to stay one step ahead of the defense.

"I think it's truly about the preparation and it comes well before we get them,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It goes way back to junior high and high school and everyone's throwing the ball. Now we're seeing the really fast guys that have added the running element. The league has shifted. In a league that changes so slowly, it's exciting to see there's been a shift.''

Wait until Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel joins the wild bunch.

Young's mobility was dazzling during a 15-year NFL career that saw the one-time Buccaneer retire with 4,239 rushing yards and 43 touchdowns on the ground.

"I think you're going to see that people will see the benefits of mobile quarterbacks in the long-term,'' Young said. "Now, Peyton and Tom have forever proven me wrong on that, but I think you're starting to see the potential for what mobile quarterbacks can do, especially on third down.''

Some Bucs fans wouldn't mind seeing quarterback Josh Freeman scramble more. Freeman's rushing totals plunged from 364 yards in 2010 to 139 last season, when Tampa Bay missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

"As soon as a mobile quarterback learns the job, Andrew Luck is probably going to be the first one that gets there, that's when you get to complete capitulation of defenses,'' Young said. "They just don't know what to do. You've seen RG III do that at times this year as a rookie and you've seen Russell Wilson do that as a rookie. It's incredible the things these guys can accomplish.''

lyronmewis

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#1 : January 14, 2013, 12:10:03 AM

I really enjoyed how Kaepernick played yesterday.

It's awfully Madden-like, but throwing bombs and running if there isn't an open receiver is an exciting way to play. If Freeman still had the running aspect to his game, we could have been in the playoffs.

Hate

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#2 : January 14, 2013, 12:31:25 AM

dude lost weight and got slower....didn't know that was possible!!

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The Franchi5e

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#3 : January 14, 2013, 12:57:24 AM

Top reason why I wouldn't be mad if we drafted Geno Smith...he doesn't run a ton, but he has the ability. Reminds me a lot of Russell Wilson in some ways.

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#4 : January 14, 2013, 01:04:15 AM

I really enjoyed how Kaepernick played yesterday.

It's awfully Madden-like, but throwing bombs and running if there isn't an open receiver is an exciting way to play. If Freeman still had the running aspect to his game, we could have been in the playoffs.



Hell ya. Well said.  I love watching both him and Russell.


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#5 : January 14, 2013, 01:14:20 AM

With Doug on the team I doubt Freeman was encouraged to run. He has proven he can. I'd like to see him run the ball more often. Maybe next year.

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#6 : January 14, 2013, 01:16:40 AM

With Doug on the team I doubt Freeman was encouraged to run. He has proven he can. I'd like to see him run the ball more often. Maybe next year.



Why not?   Even with Dougie, if its open, take off.


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#7 : January 14, 2013, 01:24:49 AM

With Doug on the team I doubt Freeman was encouraged to run. He has proven he can. I'd like to see him run the ball more often. Maybe next year.

Why not?   Even with Dougie, if its open, take off.

9ers having two quality backs in Gore and Hunter certainly doesn't discourage Kaepernick from running.

It's obvious that even when Freeman did run, he wasn't the same mobile threat as he was in 2010. It's certainly curious how a player loses 30lbs and gets slower.


Hell, brees might not be as accurate as manziel.

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#8 : January 14, 2013, 01:24:59 AM

With Doug on the team I doubt Freeman was encouraged to run. He has proven he can. I'd like to see him run the ball more often. Maybe next year.

That has absolutely no barring on Freeman running. We're not talking about designed run plays like Kaepernick or RG3....we're just talking about him running for first downs when it's right in front of his face to do so and he doesn't have anybody open. His roll out passes in 2010 are what made him special...he barely ever even does that anymore. Guy is a living statue in that pocket.

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#9 : January 14, 2013, 01:28:18 AM

With Doug on the team I doubt Freeman was encouraged to run. He has proven he can. I'd like to see him run the ball more often. Maybe next year.

That has absolutely no barring on Freeman running. We're not talking about designed run plays like Kaepernick or RG3....we're just talking about him running for first downs when it's right in front of his face to do so and he doesn't have anybody open. His roll out passes in 2010 are what made him special...he barely ever even does that anymore. Guy is a living statue in that pocket.




Agree, he doesn't have to be RG III out there, but just the threat of him running is valuable.


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#10 : January 14, 2013, 03:58:51 AM

Yet another knock on the QB.


Feel Real Good

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#11 : January 14, 2013, 09:00:05 AM

This cannot be overstated. Freeman has to run more. He kept so many drives alive with ball breaking runs in 2010.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

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#12 : January 14, 2013, 09:35:44 AM

With Doug on the team I doubt Freeman was encouraged to run. He has proven he can. I'd like to see him run the ball more often. Maybe next year.

Why not?   Even with Dougie, if its open, take off.

9ers having two quality backs in Gore and Hunter certainly doesn't discourage Kaepernick from running.

It's obvious that even when Freeman did run, he wasn't the same mobile threat as he was in 2010. It's certainly curious how a player loses 30lbs and gets slower.

I think the word is "fear".  I think he's scared.  Either that or he just doesn't care.  I hope it's the former, becuase that can be workerd on.  If it's the latter, he's of no use.

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#13 : January 14, 2013, 09:45:29 AM

Schiano discourages him from running.  No doubt about it.  I think there's even a quote or two from Schiano verifying this.  Someone with better Google skills can find it.

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#14 : January 14, 2013, 10:18:32 AM

I doubt he discourages it, I think he doesn't want Freeman injured but we've all agreed that in 2010 some of Freeman's biggest plays were picking up a crucial 3rd and long on a scramble when nothing else was open.

I'd like to see him take off and pick up a first down on a scramble from time to time. It keeps the defensive guys in their rush lanes and keeps the DBs honest. I don't want him to make a career out of it but there were a lot of games that one more first down could have made a very big difference in the outcome.

Same could be said about his passes actually. If he were just a little better at recognizing defenses and the open WR he wouldn't have to scramble for 1st downs.

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