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“It’s a tough thing to explain,” Griffin said. “You’re never totally watching the rush. You’re always keeping your eyes downfield, but you do have to feel things in the pocket.”

An explanation of how a quarterback feels the rush without seeing it is just as elusive as Griffin was at Baylor.

“I wish I knew a formula that enabled you to stand in there,” Cousins said. “I think as a quarterback that’s your job, and that’s what you have to do.”

Part of it involves a quarterback trusting his offensive linemen to protect him. The protection doesn’t always hold up, though, so a quarterback also has to be willing to sacrifice his body for a completion.

Griffin’s running ability adds another element to his decision-making. When the pocket breaks down and he feels pressured, he can be an effective runner.

Griffin tried to extend some plays with his legs against the Bears, and he had mixed success.

He ran 14 yards for a first down in the second quarter after he exhausted his reads and saw an opening around the right side. But he also took two sacks on busted screen plays instead of throwing the ball away.

Griffin considered it invaluable experience.

“You can scare coaches a couple times whenever you do take a hit that you shouldn’t necessarily take because you’re trying to make a play,” Griffin said. “But for the most part, you just got to make sure you weigh the pros and the cons, and in the heat of battle you’ll figure it out as you go along.”