Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has had to stay in the pocket more this season, because of ankle and rib injuries. And he’s becoming a better quarterback as a result.
Ultimately, you have to teach a guy everything about playing from the pocket, if you’re starting from the premise that the game is played at its highest level from the pocket. And to play the game really well from the pocket, you have to learn the subtleties from playing in the pocket. You never get to those subtleties if you leave the pocket at the first flash of color from the opponent's pass rush.You can be a difficult player to defend even if you’re erratic from the pocket, but if you’re erratic from the pocket you’re an erratic player. That’s what Newton was before this year. Now, because he is tethered to the pocket because of injuries (and maybe a different approach from the Panthers' staff), he’s developing as a pocket quarterback.
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