It’s not often we get to hear from the assistant coaches. It is even less often that we get to hear from a coach lower on the totem pole than the coordinators. Therefore, it was an interesting read to hear Jets’ QB coach David Lee talk to the media yesterday, following practice at Florham Park headquarters.
Lee talked about Michael Vick, and his influence on Geno Smith and the rest of the quarterback room:
Mike Vick has been great. He has been a great addition and has come in here and done exactly what we asked him to do. He’s pushed Geno. He’s been a tremendous competitor. The guy will compete. If you’re out there watching two-minute, etc., you’ll see what a great competitor he really is (and) he truly is. He’s been great in the classroom. Doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does I listen, we all listen because he’s got 10 years of playing in this league. (He’s) been to the Pro Bowl. He’s been great for Geno. They get along just really well and they trust each other. Mike’s been dead honest. I hear those comments and he’s done nothing, but I think, enhance Geno’s chances of being a better pro quarterback.
Lee can also learn things from Vick, different from other coaches:
There’s no question. When you’ve played in this league 10 years and been to the Pro Bowl like he has and have the experience he has and the knowledge and recognition of defenses (and) players. Like the first thing he asked me, walked into the meeting the other day, we were talking about Oakland, (Vick) said, “(Charles) Woodson still there?” He’s got a lot of knowledge and wisdom that he gives Geno. He’s really helped Geno. I’m just shocked what a team guy he’s been from the start, but you put him on the field and he’s a competing machine now. His eyes change and he wants to go. He wants to put it in the end zone every time he gets the ball. The great thing too is, these two are so much more similar in styles. Geno can run, Mike’s a great runner, probably the best ever in the National Football League. Versus David (Garrard) was more a true drop-back pocket passer. So, they do have more things in common and can share about scrambling, where your eyes are going and keeping them downfield as long as you can.
David had some candid comments about Geno Smith, and his command of the offense in year two:
Yeah, just what you said. He has command of the offense, which he didn’t (have) a year ago. He (was) coming in learning it. I’ve never coached a rookie quarterback. I’ve coached rookie quarterbacks, but not to start the season and go 16 games. Well, this guy misses two and half, three games of preseason. So, we come in there with he and Matt as one and two against Tampa Bay, we’re holding our breath. We’ve got two rookies here fixing to do this whole thing for 16 weeks and I thought it was a little bit overwhelming, which is why he was so up and down through probably the first two-thirds of the season and then he settled (down). (The) more he played, the more confidence he got. And now he just even walks the building with more confidence, more command. He’s not cocky, he’s a humble kid, but boy, he’s a confident quarterback right now at this point in time.
He also gave an example of how Geno’s footwork has improved:
Say we’re throwing a go route and he’s in the gun. Well, it’s three and hitch, first step’s downfield on a free safety. Two, three and hitch, my eyes are on my target. Before, his eyes would be everywhere. I’m looking at this go, I’m looking at that go, and that (go). So, he doesn’t have long enough to look at his target and throw a strike and be accurate. His accuracy is improved a great deal too because his footwork’s improved because his eyes improved. Everything about him is improved.
Clearly David Lee is a candid guy. He had a lot to say about both Geno Smith and Michael Vick. He seems thrilled with the situation at this point. Hopefully it is right, and it will translate into wins, starting week one against Oakland.