Why do the Jets have so much faith in Geno Smith this year? Dom Cosentino of the Star-Ledger seeks to answer that question in an article on NJ.com.
One key element writes Cosentino was Geno’s putting together both the arm and footwork.
.. Smith began doing in December that really helped him as a passer: He started running the ball. In those final four games, Smith racked up 186 of the 366 rushing yards he would compile during a season in which he started all 16 games, and he ran it 10 times in both of the season’s final two games, both of which were Jets victories.
Figuring out how and when to tuck it in and run—especially for a quarterback who was every bit a traditional pocket passer in college at West Virginia—was something of a eureka moment for Smith, at least according to Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee.
“In early December it started happening and [we] started seeing it in practice, him really finishing plays and starting to know where people are and really getting it when we told him we wanted to him run with the football,” Lee said. “The taking off and running part just really took hold of him and started to mesh in his brain about December and he started hurting people running the football in the last month of the season. So, I think that made him more of a threat.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comIt wasn’t always pretty in 2013 with Geno Smith at the helm, but in retrospect the steady hand that the Jets used with their quarterback might pay dividends this fall. Other teams with aspiring rookie QBs struggled to keep them on the field due to injury or play, but the Jets long-term view could yield better results sooner.
Smith did use his feet some in the early games of the 2013 season, but seemed to do it far less in the middle of the season due to an over-correction on his or his coaches’ part. Regardless, when the Jets started winning again in December, the coaches talked extensively about how Geno’s legs helped to create game-breaking moments.
While Smith is often cast as a pocket-passer from his time at West Virginia, that’s not entirely true. College stats lump running yards in with sack yards, so the numbers are often buried. But even beyond running a Dana Holgerson offense, Smith ran an offense prior to Holgerson’s Air Raid derivation with spread and run options, so it would seem more that he’s putting both sensibilities together in a much more competitive environment.
Last year, Smith did have to run to help the Jets win and he will continue to need to know when to take off to break down an opposing defense. But the hope this year is that with much more ammunition on offense, the pressure will be off Smith to create as many yards with his legs due to the raised talent level. That might only serve to make Smith more effective when he does run the ball.