Geno Smith: Trust Yourself to Make the Throw


Oct 16, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Geno Smith

(7) runs with the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith played well on Thursday night against the New England Patriots. 20-34 for 226 yards and one touchdown, and adding seven rushes for 37 yards is an excellent performance. Some argue that it was his best performance as a Jet, but we can all agree that this was one of Geno’s best performances in the uniform.

Geno also didn’t turn the ball over, which I know all Jets’ fans were happy to see. He got the ball out of his hands, and talked the ball away to use his legs for positive plays. This is not a complaint about his performance, but just a next step to make Geno even better.

Thursday night, Geno showed great ability to use his feet to make positive plays. It is an “X Factor” that he has, and is learning to use at the NFL level. Geno trusted his legs to make a play. However, the next thing I want to see is Geno trusting his arm. Don’t be afraid to make a turnover, but when the chance is there through the air, take it. Snap the ball out of there. There was one play in particular I want to bring to your attention, that shows exactly what I mean.

Turn the page to see what I mean.

This example took place early in the first quarter. Here in the red zone, Geno Smith is in the gun with five receivers set to go into the pattern. Geno ends up with a nice scramble on this play, but let’s move ahead and see if he had any other options.

Geno is back in the pocket,and there really isn’t much of a pass rush. Look at the circles. He has an open receiver over the middle, running a slant. He also has a receiver open on the outside. But, Geno decides that he needs to get outside of the pocket.

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See where we are now? Geno Smith has rolled to his right with a blocker set up in front. He has no rush back there, so Geno is not compelled to tuck it in and run. The circle is of David Nelson. He has followed his quarterback, as he should, and has flashed open. Geno has the chance here to set his feet and hit Nelson to get near the goal line and potentially in the end zone.

Geno Smith, however, is concerned about throwing an interception. To his credit, he is learning not to make a mistake in the red zone. He, instead, throws the pump fake and takes off.

Again, Geno Smith does make an excellent play with his legs, setting the Jets up with a first down and goal at the Patriots’ nine yard line. I am not saying that Geno Smith made a bad play here. First and goal at the nine is nothing to be annoyed at.

My simple point here is this: the next step for Geno is to be able to set his feet after scrambling, and make a strong throw. For the Jets offense to learn how to go for the jugular, it starts with the quarterback.