Geno Smith’s ability to run a small but important factor for Jets

NFL: New England Patriots at New York JetsJets quarterback Geno Smith was known as a pocket-passer at his time at West Virginia. QB coach David Lee and the Jets had done their homework on Smith and knew that, early in his career as a Mountaineer, he had been asked to run the ball more than under Dana Holgerson. Because of that, the Jets have asked Geno to run more, as a way to beat defenses. While Geno has run the ball judiciously, Michael Fensom wrote how Geno using his legs can be key to a winning game plan for the Jets.

From the article, here’s two quotes from veteran David Garrard about why smartly running the football can be so deflating for opposing defenses.

“Five or six yards is big, especially when the quarterback does it because that really drives the defenses crazy,” Garrard said. “That’s the one thing that I as well as (Antonio Cromartie) said in the game: Use your legs. You don’t understand how much the defense hates that.”

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“As a defensive coach, you know that a mobile quarterback hurts you,” Garrard said. “It stresses your defense. You could have everybody covered — the perfect coverage — but then your quarterback takes off and gets 10 yards and you’re like, ‘Man, what else could we do?’

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

It’s this little wrinkle of the Jets offense that can make a big difference in a drive or a whole gameplan. If defenses are doing their best to take away all of Geno’s passing options and not respecting his ability to make some yards with his feet, then the Jets can wake up a defense and make them assign a player to watch out for Geno using his feet. That, of course, leaves one less man for coverage … it’s a simple thing but it helps a fledgling NFL quarterback a chance to get the defense reacting rather than be proactive.

Asking a quarterback to run the ball can be a dangerous matter, but Geno has shown that he is decisive when he does it, has some impressive quickness, and (for the most part) does a good job of protecting himself unless he perceives no other way to get the yards he absolutely needs.