Geno Smith spent his offseason like many football players do, preparing to come back better than before for the next one. Only Smith took it a step further, much to the surprise of his coaching staff, studying film to learn more about the people calling the plays against him (Daily News, August 14).
He began the study shortly after his lackluster rookie season ended, unbeknownst to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, quarterbacks coach David Lee or Rex Ryan.
“That’s smart as hell though,” Ryan said of Smith’s offseason tactics. “I never even knew about it.”
“He wants to be great,” Ryan said. “He just doesn’t want to be a guy that gets through. God touched the kid. He’s got so much ability. He can throw, he can run, he can do all that. But it’s that work ethic. As a quarterback, you almost have to be a gym rat. And he’s done it.”
For Smith, the extra work was just as enjoyable as it was helpful.
“I like watching film anyway,” Smith told The News. “It was one of those things where I didn’t have anything to do anyway, so I just wanted to kind of get ahead of stuff.”
He spent about three hours on each team, focusing on third downs, blitz packages and red-zone plays.
“On third-and-long, early in the game, does he like to blitz?” Smith said. “Does he like to lay off it? How does he do two-minute situations? So, I kind of got a feel for the game.”
Though Smith’s work is hardly over yet as he said he hasn’t completely finished the study yet – not until he’s actually faced the teams himself.
“I got to watch a lot of film based on what they do this year,” said Smith. “Yeah, I got those notes, but they’re useless at this point. But once you get a chance to play those teams in the regular season, I can go back to it and look at some of those tendencies I had written down.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comIt is a great look at a quarterback who a year ago was slammed by some scathing reports – most notably by Nolan Nowrocki leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft. It also aligns with Connor Orr’s piece last year shortly after Geno’s arrival.
Geno has been soaking the NFL game in for more than a year and has demonstrated not only a willingness to learn, but an aptitude.
While the focus right now is on the secondary, Geno’s ascension as a second year player could do a lot to quiet the concerns of many in New York.