Note to New York Jets’ Geno Smith: You Aren’t in College Anymore


Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) is tackled by New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

I wanted to add just a little bit more to talk about from Geno Smith’s performance the other night against the Patriots.

First and foremost, please take a look at our buddy Sean L Durham’s article from yesterday where he breaks down the film.  Sean does an excellent job at breaking down, with pictures, some positives and negatives regarding his performance.

This morning, I wanted to take a couple of his poor throws on a little bit of a different theme.  One thing that becomes obvious to me as I watched, is that Geno trusts his arm, and his players, to make plays as if he were still in college.

Note to Geno, you aren’t in college anymore.

Take a look at the window Geno tried to fit the ball into on his first interception:

Geno has Clyde Gates coming across the middle, but does he really? Look how close the defender is. He is right on Gates’ heels. If Geno is going to complete the pass here, the pass has to be right in front of Gates so Gates can shield the defender from the football. If the ball is behind him at all, which this one unfortunately is, it gets deflected, and picked off.

In college, he can probably get away with a pass like this. His receiver is more than likely going to outmuscle the defender and make the grab. But this is the NFL. The defensive backs are just as good as the receivers Geno. You aren’t in college anymore, you can’t fit the ball into a small window like that.

Now, take a look at Geno’s second interception here:

Here Gates is running a deep route down the left side. He gets a step or two on the defender, and is open, should Geno make a good throw. He needs to put it out ahead of his receiver, following the green line. Instead, the pass is underthrown, more to the middle of the field, following the red line.

Over the top, it would have been a touchdown, as Gates could have made the catch in stride before the help arrived. However, to the middle of the field gives the defense a chance to make a play on the ball, which they do for an interception. Granted, Gates needs to put his body in there and fight for it, but the throw was no good.

Again, he probably gets away with it in college. The offensive skilled player goes up and makes a play over a weaker defensive back in college. But in the NFL, the defender is just as skilled as your receiver. You have to put the ball in the right spot for your guy to make the catch.

Geno Smith will improve, there is no doubt. One fact he must remember, and that will solve a lot of problems. The fact that he is not in college anymore.