clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How smaller QBs can win from the pocket

Could Kyler Murray take a page out of Brock Purdy’s book?

Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images

This morning on Arizona Sports Radio, Bickley and Marotta tweeted out the following question:

In my opinion, what Kyler Murray can do to help him the most:

  1. Use his feet to create clear passing lanes from in and around the pocket, which includes, at times, climbing the pocket (something he has been loath to do thus far in the NFL).
  2. Start escaping through the middle of the pocket the way he used to do his first couple of years (and stopped doing after he injured his shoulder trying to escape up the middle against the Seahawks in 2020) —- this is what NFL defenses fear most from Kyler —- and if and when he poses that threat again, it will slow down opposing pass rushes and make the pass rushers significantly more tentative.

One of the main reasons why Sean Payton was so successful with Drew Brees was the result of the ways in which Payton taught Brees how to maneuver his feet in the pocket to buy that precious extra second of time and to shuffle his feet and eyes into clear passing lanes.

Can a #1 pick QB take a page out of Mr. Irrelevant’s modus operandi?

What Brian Baldinger is profiling here is an absolute clinic from 49ers’ QB Brock Purdy, whom the Niners appear to have won the lottery with —- taking him with the last selection of the 2022 NFL Draft at pick #262, to be exact.

Brock Purdy is listed as 6-1, 220...but that may be a bit of a stretch. By NFL standards, Brock Purdy is a small QB. And by NFL standards his arm strength is average.

As you can see in this video, Purdy has the feel, poise and the patience to work his feet into the most suitable position —- to then be able to deliver downfield strikes with precise timing and touch.

Can a QB be taught how to “feel” his way in and around the pocket?

Some QBs like Tom Brady have a kind of sixth sense about them in terms of shuffling away from pressure. However, QB coaches can do an excellent job of teaching and repping the “feel” and “footwork” that can make all the difference between a batted down pass or a chain-moving downfield strike thrown to a WR in stride.

“Finding the eye of the tornado” drill.

Now that you have watched this clinic once —- do yourself a favor and watch it a second time in order to imagine what each play might have looked like had Brock Purdy stayed more stationary at or too near to the original back end of his backpedal.

Kyler Murray would be well-advised to make his pocket a true pocket —- that would include taking shuffle steps forward when necessary and possible.

And if he starts to bolt up the middle of the pockets —- look out!

For those of you who play Pac Man —- the most advantageous way you can out-maneuver the ghosts, is to escape through the middle, whenever the occasion presents itself, especially when “Blinky” and “Pinky” are breathing down your neck.