So far this year, there have been 17 designations of doubtful or out for quarterbacks. Last year at this time there were six, and in 2011 there were 10.
But at least one executive thinks the problem could be a function of pass protection rather than passers or play-calls.
Only six teams have started the same five offensive linemen in every game, and many of the young players coming from spread offenses in college simply aren’t prepared to block at the NFL level.
“The splits are so much wider. They’re getting rid of the ball that much quicker. Your offensive linemen aren’t protecting for as long,” one personnel executive said. “There’s not the 2½-, 3-second time allotment where the offensive linemen will hold their blocks. I know I’m reaching, but, . . . I don’t know what it is.”