New York Jets Geno Smith: Hopeful or Hopeless?
So here we are, deep into the heart of another Jets off-season – another off-season full of doubt and uncertainty at the team’s most important position; QB. It seems the Jets have had uncertainty at this position every off-season for the past few decades. This familiar feeling of uncertainty at the QB position is something Jets fans have become accustomed to over the years, but the passion in wanting said uncertainty to solidify itself one way or another is something that isn’t going away, ever.
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Fans want the same thing; a winning team led by a QB that in the very least, isn’t holding the team back. The route to ultimately get to that point is where Jet Nation finds themselves with differing opinions, suggestions and options. We’re human and we will never think alike or have the same opinions nor should we. So here’s mine – Geno can get it done for this Jets team.
In the era in which Jets fans have no issues prematurely dumping QBs, Geno is close to falling victim to this concept. You have two years to show that you’re elite or you’re outta here. Some will say that I’m hyperbolizing and that it’s fair to want Geno tossed out, primarily because they truly feel that Geno has been abysmal and hasn’t flashed at all or enough his short time here, thus rendering my point invalid.
This of course is not only false, but it’s seemingly a misguided and flawed way of thinking, a lazy narrative and the main ingredient in a failed recipe found only in the “How NOT To Develop NFL QBs: Vol 1″ cook book.
In Geno, it’s truly not hard for me to see a mix bag – a bag filled with a mixture of hope, potential, talent and dirty diapers. That’s as fair and objective as I can be and quite frankly it’s the truth. Geno has flashed high potential at times and stunk up the joint at others. There really is no middle ground when I watch him.
I’m going to briefly take you to the film to show you exactly what I mean and what I see.
– We have four games here – ( Both Patriots games, the first Bills game and the Packers game.)
Week 7 vs the Patriots: 3rd and 6 – Ball on the Patriots 10 yard line – Geno in shotgun formation –
Geno has three WRs and a TE in Jeff Cumberland who has his hands in the dirt.
As you can see, when the ball is snapped, Geno drops back two steps and utilizing the solid protection his O-line is giving him here, immediately recognizes his TE Jeff Cumberland hitting his crossing route. But, what Geno sees here is that Cumberland’s defender has his back turned and has no idea what Geno is up to, giving Geno the upper hand and Geno takes advantage.
This is Quarterbacking 101 here. When a defender is face guarding his opponent, it needs to be the first place the QB looks to target every time and Geno does that here as he exhibits great touch and arm strength as he leads Cumberland for the TD. We know by this play that Geno in the least understands a concept as simple as this.
Week 2 vs Packers: 3rd and 3 – ball on the Packers 29 yard line –
Geno once again finds himself in Shotgun. Two WR split wide and one in the slot. Geno already recognizes that his number 1 WR Eric Decker has man coverage.
Look closely as a couple things happens once the ball is snapped on this play that allows it to be successful…..
– Eric Decker completely destroys his defender; weird considering “he’s not a true number 1 WR.” He obliterates his defender almost immediately with a studder step/ shimmy move that allows him to run right by his defender.
– Geno stands in the pocket in the face of a fierce pass rush, delivering the pass all the way through and ultimately taking a shot as the pocket collapses.
– Geno leads Decker with this perfect pass, giving his WR a chance to make a play on the ball and the defender no chance at an interception.
Week 16 vs Patriots 2nd Quarter – 2nd down and 8 – Ball on the Patriots 20 yard line –
Geno is under center with two WRs split to the left of him and one RB in the backfield.
When the ball is snapped on this play, It’s essentially the same concept as the first play I showed you earlier. This time and unlike the first play, Geno is under center and has to utilize a five step drop. On his fourth step back, Geno already recognizes the immediate mismatch with his TE Jeff Cumberland and his defender here.
Cumberland hits the seam and immediately runs right past his defender who, once again, has his back to Geno, making him oblivious to what Geno is wanting to do here. Geno once again places the ball where only his guy can get it and throws it immediately so the defender doesn’t have a chance at turning his head and making a play on the ball. It’s a simply pitch and catch here, but it’s intelligent QB-ing and is not to be taken for granted.
Next: Geno vs Bills - Week 8
Week 8 Vs Bills – 1st Quarter – 3rd and 8 on the Jets 12 yard line –
Geno is in shotgun formation with three WRs split out and two RBs in the backfield with him.
Ladies and gentlemen – “Bad Geno”
A lot happens on this play that causes it to be the disaster in which is was.
– When the ball is snapped, the pocket quickly collapses. Now, like the aforementioned play in GB, Geno decides that in the face of this collapse, he should get rid of the ball to his WR on the left side, which happens to be Percy Harvin.
– At the moment Geno releases the pass, he is hit in his legs by the pass rush which directly impacts the follow through of the pass.
– Harvin runs what looks to be a go route but his defender was with him all the way. Harvin should’ve offered a studderstep of some kind to attempt to lose his defender (Like Decker did vs GB) but instead, Harvin runs the go route and then is tripped up (probably in an failed attempt to draw a flag) and falls to the ground, leaving Geno’s pass nicely wrapped and perfectly gifted to the CB here.
– I am in no way absolving Geno of any guilt here as he’s the one who threw the pass, a forced pass I might add. But, it was simply bad stuff from the beginning as poor play design, poor protection (Bills front 4 completely overpowered the Jets o-line here), poor route running and execution on part of Percy Harvin.
– Hindsight – Geno needs to scramble to his right and hit Chris Johnson in the flat for a gain instead of forcing it to Percy Harvin.
Same game vs Bills – 1st Quarter – 2nd and 10 on the Jets 11 yard line Geno in the shotgun position. This is the next offensive series for the Jets –
This time, Geno is in the shotgun with an empty backfield. Once again, the pass is to the left and he is looking for Decker. This is just a simply misfire as he throws over Decker’s head and right into the hands of the Safety who returns in for six.
Just a bad throw that needed to be on target a lot sooner from Geno.
Next: More Geno continued....
Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) scrambles against the Minnesota Vikings in overtime at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
“Bad Geno” showed up big time in the first Bills game of 2014, after that, the questions began and remained. When “Bad Geno” shows up, I’m noticing that he allows the pressure from the pass rush to affect when he throws and this has caused his timing and accuracy to be off. Geno, when faced with pressure, has had the tendency in the past to throw quicker than he wants to. This is essentially the goal for all defensive coordinators; to get the QB to throw faster or sooner than they initially desired if a sack isn’t attainable.
This play below, is what we get from Geno when he’s NOT under pressure and has time to throw with virtually no pressure mounting – Accurate, confident and strong throw.
As I stated previously; a mixed bag. But a mixed bag that is outweighed with more potential and hope than anything else. Does that sound like wishful thinking or hope on my part? I don’t know, what does the film tell you? Does the film tell you that any potential Geno has shown thus far has been overstated or adequately presented?
It’s hard for me to argue that Geno Smith has had the most effective coaching since arriving in the league under the Jets previous regime. Not kicking an old regime that is no longer here, I’m just suggesting that Mark Sanchez‘s completion percentage with the Eagles in 2014 was the higher than any Jets QB in SEVEN years – SEVEN.
Well some will say that’s because Sanchez was playing in Chip Kelly’s system that allow him to complete high percentage plays and what not. That’s true and it’s actually the point I’m trying to make. Yes Kelly’s system was “friendly” for Mark Sanchez, but it was still effective, nothing else matters.
The bottom line is; once Sanchez found himself under a different system that best utilized his attributes and skill set, he was able to find the consistent success that he was never able to find here with the Jets. Coincidence or no?
What Kelly did for Mark Sanchez, I truly believe Chan Gailey can do for Geno Smith. Geno excelled in the spread in college and has the tools to be successful here with the Jets under Gailey if that’s the route Gailey wants to go.
Ultimately, the Jets should add respectable competition to the position as that’s best for the entire team. And yes, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota should be a legitimate consideration for the Jets if they have a chance to draft him, but unless the Jets trade for an already established veteran QB like Phillip Rivers or say a Drew Brees, I think Geno Smith should and will (health permitting) come out on top of any QB competition the Jets will throw his way. The kid is talented enough and has the tools. It’s up to him at this point.
Next: Fowler to the Jets in a Mock Draft