In which of the following sports do you utilise a 'passing pocket'?
The passing pocket, or the pocket, is a term used in American football to describe the area in the backfield created on a passing play where the offensive line forms a wall of protection around the quarterback. This allows him adequate time to find an open receiver and to pass the ball. The offensive line will drop back slightly, creating a U-shaped protected area for the quarterback to find an open receiver and pass the ball. Naturally, the actual area varies from play to play, but it is determined by the forward progress of the ball towards the opponent's end zone.
If he is unable to find an open receiver he will attempt to run the ball himself, throw the ball out of bounds to prevent a sack and/or turnover, or if there is no lane, he may collapse to the ground to protect the ball and try to avoid a fumble. Even with a well structured offensive line, the quarterback only has seconds to pass the ball within the pocket. Moving the pocket can help avoid a sack (where the quarterback is tackled before he can pass the ball). When that fails, quarterbacks may scramble, either to gain more time for the wide receivers, to avoid a sack, or to rush the ball (hand it off to a runner who carries it forward).