Will Clemens pocket presence improve?

Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens has a lot of positive qualities like a strong arm, terrific toughness and a great work ethic, but one thing he is currently lacking is great pocket presence. Will that come around or is it an instinctive characteristic? We asked a former NFL QB that question, and here is what he said -

"Normally, you can tell if a QB has pocket awareness naturally," said the former NFL signal-caller. "They can feel it with periphial vision and normally slide in the pocket or escape when need be.

"A great example was Jay Cutler in the preseason vs Dallas. The play sticks out in my mind because it was him just reacting to find safe area and felt the pressure from an unblocked defensive lineman.

"Another great example was Tony Romo in the shot gun and the snap went over his head vs St. Louis and he did not panic and made positive yards. His back was turned to the defense and he knew he was safe to scoop it up instead of falling on it. His direct quote was you just feel it (and you do). He scrambled 30 yards.

"Young quarterbacks do get bogged down with their reads which can inhibit their awareness, but at the end of the day, when you know you're in trouble you get out of Dodge, or slide to the safe spot. When you see a young QB scramble into coverage, there is a serious issue, because it is the tell tale sign he has no feel or awareness of his surroundings at all.

"If protection breaks down and the QB is slow with reads and thus is sacked, that is something that can be worked on and improved. The three, five and seven drops normally slow down when a young QB is thinking too much and has a huge affect on a play and protection, because it throws off timing of when the throw really should take place. Speed of drops and thought process normally will improve through repetition."

So it's either an issue of slow reads by a young QB, or a lack of inherent instincts that might never come. It's up to Mike Tannenbaum, Eric Mangini and Brian Schottenheimer to figure out what the problem is.

And if it's about instincts, they might need to draft another quarterback.

As we saw with QB's like David Carr, Joey Harrington and J.P. Losman, pocket presence sometimes never comes around.

So Tannenbaum, Mangini and Schottenheimer need to be totally honest about what is going on here.

It is illegal to reprint this story on any message board or website. Violators are subject to legal action.


Jets Insider Top Stories