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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) takes off running as San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget (94) gives chase on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. The Cowboys finished up their summer training camp in California by practicing with the Chargers on Tuesday in San Diego, California. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
The face of quarterbacks in the NFL is changing.
Gone are the days where coaches want to draft grounded pocket passers. Just look back at the top draft picks of the last few years.
Washington’s Robert Griffin III, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, Detroit’s Sam Bradford and Carolina’s Cam Newton -- none of these guys will ever be accused of playing old school. They are all very mobile and as good, if not better, passing outside the pocket as they do with their feet anchored behind their offensive linemen.
Compare them to players like Denver’s Peyton Manning, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, and San Diego’s Philip Rivers. These are quarterbacks who have been in the league for a while and are more comfortable in the pocket.
With a shift in quarterbacks' style, inadvertently comes a shift in defensive ends. Learning how to attack a rooted quarterback is much different than trying to figure out how to pursue a moving target.
Corey Liuget, Chargers’ 2011 first round draft pick, has found that his lack of experience in the NFL has almost turned into an advantage.
When asked if he felt that his college experience with mobile quarterbacks leveled the playing field for him against, Liuget rattled off name after name. Names such as Terrell Pryor of the Oakland Raiders who, in the final preseason game, ran 59 yards to put his team in the red zone and threw a 41-yard touchdown pass. And said that he would “definitely agree” that it gave him an advantage.
“I’m kind of in a new era,” Liuget said. “We've to get used to it now and we know we have to match their speed when it comes to defensive end we just have to pursue them at a different angle or whatever it is to catch up with those guys because they’re blazing.”
But if he had to pick, Liuget would rather turn back the hands of time.
“I’d definitely rather go against a veteran quarterback that stays in the pocket.” Liuget said. “Because you know he’s not going anywhere so you just have to go find him.”