Geno Smith on Finishing Drives in the Red Zone

By Alan Schechter

Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) rolls out of the pocket during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets were close on Thursday night. A couple of plays going the Jets’ way and the result would have been very different. The biggest difficulty was with finishing drives, especially not forcing plays at the end of drives. Geno Smith talked about finishing drives yesterday:

Yeah that’s a big emphasis, us finishing drives. In our first two games we were able to move the ball pretty well, but got into the redzone, got some opportunities and kind of stalled a bit. All it takes is a little bit of extra focus down there. It could be me just reminding guys, ‘Hey, we’re in the redzone, let’s punch this thing in.’ We’re definitely going to emphasize that. We want to score more points. We can. I believe we can be an explosive offense and it’s going to take all 11 of us on the field.

He also was asked about how not to force the football when the game is on the line:

You’ve got to do it. You can’t have those mistakes. You can’t have those turnovers and regardless of whose fault it is, it can’t happen. The way to avoid it is to emphasize it in practice (and) to stick to your fundamentals when you’re out there on the field. Just go out there and play aggressive, but at the same time be mindful of the situation. I think down there in the redzone, I could’ve maybe tucked the ball and ran instead of trying to fit it into a tight window. Keep three points on the board (and) just managing the situations, continuing to stick to my fundamentals and just going out there being aggressive and having fun.

These are the growing pains I was talking about with a rookie quarterback. He is going to try to impress people by making a play when the chips are down. He has to learn when a play can be made, and when he needs to shut it down and keep the team in the scoring zone. Geno is going to lose some games for us early.

He’ll learn, we have to grow through it.