Geno Smith inspires a whole lot of discussion around the league with the experts, as well as the Jets’ fan base. Understandable, as we are trying to determine whether or not this guy is our future quarterback or not. Combine that with the fact that he is the quarterback of a New York football team, and every move he makes on the football field is going to be evaluated, bad or good.
What we are talking about today, is HOW we evaluate Geno Smith. Granted, there are many encouraging signs. He can make any throw in the book. His arm? It’s a cannon. Geno uses his feet quite well, to buy himself time and/or to pick up yardage. He can stand in and take a hit, and still make a strong throw. That type of poise is something that you cannot teach.
Geno Smith is already showing himself as a leader as well. He takes ownership of his mistakes, setting an example to his guys, as a player that people can rally behind. He has quite a bit of potential to be the quarterback of the future for the New York Jets.
But, let’s be honest. There are some signs that are not very encouraging as well. I am not talking about his reads either. He likely will get better, the more reps he gets. He will have a better understanding of the windows he can make throws through. He will get better at ball placement, the more he plays. There really is no choice, that will get better through repetition.
What I AM talking about, is ball security. Feeling the pressure from behind him and protecting the football is not something you learn. That is about instincts. A problem that has gone on for more than one week is his pocket awareness, and protecting the football. That has gone on since the game against the Patriots.
The problem in Tennessee was carrying the ball with one hand. Here is what Geno Smith had to say about it when asked about it during his talk with the press on Monday:
It’s just a natural reaction. I can’t explain exactly why, but it’s just a natural reaction.
He is right, how the ball is handled is absolutely a natural reaction, and that is what is a bit scary. His “natural reaction” is to carry the ball with one hand. His “instinct” told him to try to exchange hands with the football behind his back like Magic Johnson. Instincts, or what you do naturally, are very difficult to change. We all do things naturally and don’t think about them. When we are expected to change them, it’s very difficult.
If that is Geno’s “instinct”, we might have a real problem here.
What am I saying here? Well, I am seeing a lot of people talking about Geno like he is the second coming of Broadway Joe, simply because his name ISN’T Mark Sanchez. His mistakes? They will get better, it’s only four games.
We don’t know that for sure, ladies and gentleman.
I have also seen the other end of the spectrum, saying it’s time to bench Geno, and give the keys to Matt Simms. Personally, I think Matt is a good quarterback, but that isn’t the answer either. Do we know that Geno is NOT the guy?
No we do not.
So my point is, it’s not time to give up on Geno Smith. But, it’s not time to anoint him the quarterback of the future either. Because, we just don’t know.
There had to be a reason why he was unexpectedly passed on for the entire first round.