HomeMore Sports

Football

American Football101ArticlesBowl GamesCoachingCollege FootballDefensive AlignmentsDrillsEquipmentFlag FootballHistoryHow ToKick TypesLeaguesLingoFootball 1st HalfFootball 25-Second Play ClockFootball 2nd HalfFootball 40-Second Play ClockFootball Against The WindFootball AnnouncerFootball AudibleFootball Away TeamFootball Ball CarrierFootball Change Of PossessionFootball Choosing WindFootball Coffin CornerFootball CompletionFootball DeferFootball DeflectionFootball Down And DistanceFootball Down By ContactFootball Fair CatchFootball Forced FumbleFootball FumbleFootball GainFootball GapsFootball Glossary Of Terms And DefinitionsFootball Halftime ShowFootball Halftime SpeechFootball HandoffFootball Hidden Ball TrickFootball HikeFootball HoleFootball Home Field AdvantageFootball Home TeamFootball Instant ReplayFootball InterceptionsFootball Kicking TeamFootball LingoFootball Live ActionFootball Long SnapFootball Losing TeamFootball LossFootball Loss Of DownFootball Loss Of YardsFootball Muffed BallFootball Neutral ZoneFootball No GainFootball Open EndFootball PatFootball PeriodFootball Pick SixFootball PigskinFootball Piling OnFootball PocketFootball QuarterFootball ReceptionFootball RegulationFootball RushingFootball SackFootball SnapFootball Strong SideFootball TakeawayFootball The Kick Is GoodFootball TouchbackFootball Touchdown DanceFootball Touchdown ReturnFootball Visiting TeamFootball Weak SideFootball Winning TeamFootball With The WindNFL FootballNFL TeamsOffensive FormationsOfficialsPass TypesPenaltiesPlayersPlaysPositionsQuestionsRulesScrimmage DownsSkillsStatisticsStrategyTeam StaffThe FieldTrophies
  1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. Football Pocket

Football Pocket

Football Pocket

What is the Pocket in Football?

In football, the pocket is the area behind the offensive line where the quarterback stands after receiving the ball. The pocket is about seven yards wide and five yards long. Offensive linemen form the pocket by dropping back to defend the quarterback from oncoming defenders. The pocket is often described as a wall around the quarterback.

While in the pocket, the quarterback usually stands looking for a receiver to pass the ball to. If there is no receiver open and the defense is closing in, the quarterback can scramble from the pocket and attempt to run for yards, or pass the ball while outside the pocket. The pocket's main goal is to give the quarterback a moment of extra time to think about his next time.

Intentional Grounding Penalty

If defenders get close to the quarterback while in the pocket and the quarterback intentionally throws the ball into the ground or out of bounds before the first down line in an attempt to not lose yardage on a sack, an intentional grounding penalty is called. However, if the quarterback throws the ball away while outside of the pocket, even if being chased by defenders, the penalty is not called.