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Is the pocket passer dying? No way, says Peyton Manning

Posted Jan 28, 2016

The Panthers are the fourth team in the last four Super Bowls to be led by a mobile quarterback, but that doesn't mean the pocket passer is in danger of going extinct.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Even though much is being made of the trend of mobile quarterbacks in the last four Super Bowls -- from Colin Kaepernick to Russell Wilson and now Cam Newton -- they aren't a particularly new breed. Those quarterbacks may not be the same style of dual-threat quarterbacks as Bob Griese, Roger Staubach and Fran Tarkenton, but they do share some similar stylistic DNA.

And to say that the age of the pocket passer is dead seems to be jumping the gun a bit. This is still a league where Peyton Manning is in the Super Bowl, where Tom Brady continues to flourish, where Joe Flacco and Drew Brees and Eli Manning have Super Bowl rings for their work in recent years.

"Be careful with these labels now," Manning said. "I think that is 100 percent for you guys [the media] to decide. That is not in my department."

But pocket passers remain in place throughout the league -- and as quarterbacks get older and lose their mobility, they can transition into passers who stay primarily in the pocket, like Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

"There's different types of quarterbacks, and there's different ways to be effective, and that's the way you have to play it," Manning said.

Peyton Manning

And the Broncos serve as an example of how two different types of quarterbacks can be effective. With Brock Osweiler at the controls for seven starts, the Broncos ran more play-action bootlegs and got him outside the pocket. Although consistency was an issue, the offense did improve its points-per-possession with the tweaks while Osweiler was under center.

Since Manning has returned, the Broncos have further improved their points per possession, averaging 1.91 points per series with an offense focused on utilizing Manning's pre-snap reads to take advantage of gaps in the defense.

"I think every coach tries to call some plays that play to all of his players' strengths -- quarterback, running back and receiver," Manning said.

"I guess the only thing I'll say is that it seems like every year, [it's said] that the pocket passer is a dying breed. I kept saying, 'Well, I hope that's not true, because I will be out of a job and my brother will be pretty close behind.'"

PEEVED ABOUT EAVESDROPPING: Manning's postgame conversation with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick became a national story when the microphone captured the quarterback telling Belichick that "this might be my last rodeo."

"What happened to private conversations on the 50-yard line? I guess they just don't exist anymore," Manning said. "No confirmation on that whatsoever. We are on to Carolina."

ACCUSATIONS 'STILL GARBAGE': Manning also briefly addressed the news that the NFL would investigate allegations that Manning received human-growth hormone from a clinic in Indianapolis in 2011.

"Just like I said back in December, I do welcome it [the investigation],'" Manning said. "That's no news to me. I still stand by what I said then: that I welcome it. It's garbage from the first day that it came out, and it's still garbage today."

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