Link: Room for growth

In speaking with the press yesterday after close to a full season watching his rookie quarterback, Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg thinks Geno Smith has a bright future ahead as an NFL quarterback.

Via the New York Daily News:

… offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg gave the rookie QB a vote of confidence on Thursday.

“I’m even more certain now than I was earlier that he could be a really good one,” Mornhinweg said.

Smith’s development and potential will be a key question facing the Jets this offseason. While there have been flashes of a good quarterback at times, his errors have piled up all year long. Smith is second in the league, behind only Eli Manning, with 21 interceptions.

“Everybody progresses at a different rate at really all positions, but (in) particular the quarterback,” Mornhinweg said, though he also admitted, “I felt like we had to restart almost a few weeks back.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

After a number of benchings, the Jets did a hard reboot with Geno heading into the Raiders game. The game plans shifted to fit him better and he was clearly more comfortable with playing in chaos than he had up to that point.

Geno played very well against a bad Raiders defense and maybe all that with the confidence boost of one good game seem to be paying dividends. Smith then followed it up with a modest showing against the Panthers. Smith didn’t have a killer game in Carolina, but the fact that he didn’t implode has to be appreciated.

As far as Geno’s job security, he shouldn’t just get a free pass because he’s a rookie or because the talent around him was sub-par, but that must be factored into the equation. With some healthy pass catchers and a healthy Chris Ivory along with the offensive line using Nick Mangold to babysit Brian Winters more of late, things have evened out a bit.

With some dynamic young talent at quarterback about to enter the NFL Draft for 2014, it is going to be important to see if Geno can start to make corrections from the mistakes that have trailed him all season. For instance, can he do better at working through his progressions? Will he use his check downs more prudently? Can he recognize the safety / corner blitz and either make the adjustment or better yet, use the pass to his advantage?

Geno won’t solve all those problems in two more games, but it’s the progress that we need to see more than anything else.




205 comments
Neil Herschkowitz
Neil Herschkowitz

I'm not sure I can accurately find a thread that this post comfortably fits in. I have been a Jets fan since 1967  and I have been loyal and dedicated to my team. This includes periods where I lived in Florida before sports bars, Sunday ticket and the internet.

I used to drive over to the local convenience store in Jupiter, Florida on Monday morning to pick up all the New York papers to read about my team. Funny thing was that sometimes I would run into Tim Mara or even  Parcells at that convenience store as they were my neighbors. They were accessible, and over the years we became acquaintances.

Now of course we have access to every game, and I can go to this site, or over to Sports Spyder which I have both on my smartphone...and which I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time.

It would seem our team always finds some way to break our hearts. A team that gives its fans hope, only to take that hope away. A team that we relate to because either we grew up with them, or we love underdogs. A blue collar meat and potatoes team with heart and moxy.

This season, a season that the world at large dismissed our team, the people who populate this blog knew we had a team that could win some games, and surprise many people. I stepped up and put in writing we would win between 7 and 9 games before game 1. I took great pleasure when we exceeded expectations, and proved our many critics wrong.

It didn't seem bold or foolish because I though our D would keep us in games,and that we had a much better OC. That there was just enough at skill positions to win some games.

We did, and hopes soared. There were injury issues, and rookie problems. The bye week came, and we went straight into the crapper.  

Now, that's where my problems with Rex, and Geno  begins. Actually my problem with Rex this season began when he got Sanchez injured by stupidity in pre season. He was not near ready, and he needed to sit and learn for as long as it took this season.

My other issues with Rex stem from continuing loyalty to spent players like Reed, or his refusal to sit Cro when he played injured and was ineffective. For all of the defensive acumen Rex is supposed to have his D can't get off the field on third down,and gave up  home runs on a regular basis.

His team's lack discipline, turn the ball over, and can't win two in a row. He is also not perceived as having wisdom on offense, and as being one denominational.

Yes, I like him, and the change he installed to the culture, and relevance of our team, but I believe it's time for a change.

Statistics in the NFL don't quite add up. Depending on who you play, when you play them, injuries and weather conditions there are far to many variables fir accuracy. A team that plays in a dome in the NFC East certainly can't be compared to a team that plays outdoors in th AFC East. Playing a mediocre team like what Miami was in the beginning of the season isn't the same as playing them now. When they determine statistics with such diverse sampling it doesn't mean much to me.

No, I watch my team, and we seem to have similar problems since Rex arrived. I just don't see him as our head coach. I might give Geno more time if MM remains offensive coordinator. The winds of change are blowing in a win now world.

I'm 65 years old, and I love my Jets. They're a big part of my life, and I sure would like to see them win one more super bowl in my lifetime ...we all would.

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

the 3 things geno must work on is staring down receivers,finding his checkdowns quicker,and his footwork...im hoping mm is seeing improvement in one some or all of these things...if you look at genos college stats especially his ints i knew their would be some growing pains but i thought we were getting the anti sanchez when it came to ints 

a57se
a57se

OK, MM said: “I’m even more certain now than I was earlier that he could be a really good one,”

What I want to hear from him but I am sure we won't is the following:


1. What does Geno have to learn to be a really good one?

2. Can you point to another QB who had similar issues to overcome that made it?

3. What kind of plan do you have going forward to make this happen?

4. How long should we wait to see if this is going to happen?

5. Do you think it would be wise to draft another QB prospect since we don't know for sure that Geno will be a really good one?

BILLY
BILLY

To say that there is room for growth in Geno's game is an understatement.

joemustgo
joemustgo

As with the decision about whether to retain Rex, I suspect Idzik already made up his mind and the last 2 game won't change anything. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

Geno was horrible last week. Saying he had a modest showing is being kind. Most of his stats came when the game was over and Carolina was playing back.  Do we have any evidence that Geno is improving? My eyes aren't seeing it and I don't think there are any stats that are showing it.

DrJonathanReefer
DrJonathanReefer

@Neil Herschkowitz


  I respect your opinion and your love for the jets. I just have one question and I do not mean any disrespect but..


If the jets meet your hopeful expectations for the season, how can you fault them?

   They played meaningful games into December, and almost everyone would have signed up for that during the offseason. I'm not excusing them for 3 years of no playoffs, and I thought for sure we'd make the playoffs at 5-4. We did not and it sucked, but this year was enough for me to give Rex more time.


   Everyone harps on Geno, Winters, and the O, but a ton of good things happened this year. The D's Front 7, they are very young and very good, Mo-24, Boss Hog- 23, Snacks-25, Coples-23, and Davis is only 24. Mo is the most seasoned at THREE years.  On O: Howard has become a very good RT. Ivory proved to be a Bell Cow, and Kerely emerged as JCO jr. Rex took over a win now team and almost went to two.  The team got old, Sanchez didn't step it up and Rex has since have been rebuilding it, I wanna see him finish it.



SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57seIf MM mentioned QBs like Eli, Peyton, Aikman or Luck, all of whom had turnover issues as rookies, you'd mock him for it.  So, I'm not sure no. 2 would be all that productive.  No. 3 would depend a lot upon who the GM brings in because, as I've said since before the season started, MM's system relies upon a dynamic pass-catching 3-down RB, who is spelled by a bruiser.  We have the latter, not the former.  So, I don't think MM could answer no. 3 without potentially criticizing the boss because for Geno to get better, he needs better players, or at least players that fit MM's system.  No. 4 would be entirely speculative and should elicit a non-response "we'll know when we see it."  As for no. 5, that's, again, the GM's call.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se I'd be very interested to see the offseason program Marty gives Geno. Studying, fundementals, all of it. 

Bent
Bent

@a57se Hopefully "more certain than I was before" doesn't represent an upgrade from "no chance" to "probably not".

buddyryan
buddyryan

@BDarc23 I see improvement compared to the Titans, Bills and Dolphins games, but we the fans can't see what is going on in practice.  Could be Marty is seeing Geno taking a step forward in practice and the film room.

Brendan
Brendan

@BDarc23 Saying he was horrible is being unduly harsh. He wasn't horrible, he had a rookie performance with both good and bad parts. 

a57se
a57se

@BDarc23 

He has improved his ball security (protecting the football when he runs).

He is only throwing picks now when the Jets need him to make a play instead of whenever.

He isn't backing up and trying to pass the ball behind his own back anymore.

He is calling the plays properly in the huddle now (he may have been doing that all along but I am struggling to come up with other areas of improvement).



 

Neil Herschkowitz
Neil Herschkowitz

I am tired of almosts, close, improved, building, and other things that are not winning and now. I've heard all the excuses.

Three years with no playoffs is failure. In business, life and sports... results are what we get paid for.

What will be the excuses next year? Who is to be held accountable?

Rex won mostly with Mangini guys his first two years. His D can't get off the field and can't defend the pass. His O isn't his and they are impotent.

His team got blown out by Buffalo and Tennessee...mediocre team's at best. He didn't take Holmes to task for running his big mouth before the Panthers game.

Rex needs to be gone now.

1969JAN12th
1969JAN12th

@Brendan @a57se Lets hope that Marty is still the OC and is able to give Geno an off-season program to work on....Schotty, Sparano, Marty, and ? in 4 years...whew ! ...wonder what the record is for teams changing OCs ? Hope we don't have to test that.

a57se
a57se

@Brendan@a57se 

IF Geno's problem is what Kurt Warner struggled with early on, namely the speed of the game, what can you possibly give him during the off-season to work on that?

Warner recalls that it was in an arena league game where all of the sudden, he got it........

t__k
t__k

@Brendan I agree.  How does MM go about teaching him how to 1. Read a defense at the LOS.  2.  Work through his progressions. 3. When to run/check down 4. Footwork.  (in no particular order)


Just once in my life time I want to see a Jet's QB OWN an offense.  I want to see him be able to direct traffic, run the hurry up, change the play at the LOS, use his check downs, and know when to take shots down the field.

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se 

Well that is the thing, his answer is not a ringing endorsement as some have portrayed it.

It actually invites more questions then it answers......MM is pretty shrewd in his pressers. I have watched every one that has been posted on the Jets home site.

Neil Herschkowitz
Neil Herschkowitz

Oh, he was the lowest rated QB in the entire NFL, and had the most turnovers... But somehow he doesn't suck.

So if we extrapolate to next year he will suck a little less. Sounds great.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se@BDarc23He's playing more decisively and he's running more effectively.  When to checkdown sounds like an easy skill to master to us.  Ask a QB that has the arm strength to drive the ball downfield if it's that easy.  Favre never mastered it, Peyton still suffers from not taking it and so does Eli.  Guys like Brady, Alex Smith, Brees, Montana, etc. were/are great at taking what the defense gives them.  It's not as easy to do as it sounds.

1969JAN12th
1969JAN12th

@Neil Herschkowitz 

"Keep the coordinators and coaches"....unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. A new head coach will bring in his own people. Marty will be gone and we will have 4 OCs in 4 years....and yes, we will be starting over. Not saying that Rex is the best HC in the NFL; but I have read about some of the replacement possibilities and they are not pretty. I think the better argument for NOT keeping Rex is that the last two years we lost the last three games of the season...and this year we could be headed for losses in the last 6 of 7. On the other hand our defense is one of the betters Ds...so at least one side of the ball is ready to play at a high level for a few years. Keep in mind that with a new HC, our D (without Rex) might falter and we would have neither offense or defense worth much. I say give Rex another year with both FA and drafted offensive weapons. Sometimes continuity is the best thing a team can do. 

( I also lived in Florida from 1965-1970 and was in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 12th, 1969).

Neil Herschkowitz
Neil Herschkowitz

Cut losses,and move on. Why continue to waste time with aol program that doesn't work?

Keep the coordinators and coaches.Give Geno serious veteran competition and draft well.

Get a head coach that stops sucking up to the players non stop,but who is fair,and even handed. A coach that in talks a system that shows understanding if both sides of the ball. A consistency that is based on structure and discipline.

This team faded away at the end instead of getting better, and has for three years now.

It's time for a new HC, and we should have done so before this season started.

DrJonathanReefer
DrJonathanReefer

Fire Rex and start all over? So fire Rex blow it up and take another 3 years for another coach to bring in all the players they want to build the team in their vision. We haven't won in so long e ause we have a new head coach ever 4 years and are always starting over and over and over again. You think you'd all be sick of it.

a57se
a57se

@1969JAN12th@Brendan@a57se 

While I guess anything is possible, it would be odd to fire Rex and keep MM, though Tanny did that with Mangini/schotty.

t__k
t__k

@Brendan I knew someone would either say Vinny or Chad! ...Chad had the cerebral part down.  Such a noodle arm though.  

a57se
a57se

@jaygo@a57se@Bent 

I clearly stated that I did listen AND watch his press conference. It is posted on the NY Jets webpage.

You are entitiled to your opinion.

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se 

True but the press conference can be seen at the Jets home site.

Bent
Bent

@a57se @Bent Far be it for the media to even attempt to give comments any context.

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se 

You are correct, his opinion was not really disclosed in that press conference.He could have meant anything....

Bent
Bent

@a57se @Bent There could be many reasons why he would make this comment.  To boost his trade value, to motivate him, to motivate Simms, to send a smokescreen about their offseason plans, to brown-nose Idzik...


...or maybe, just maybe, he has seen enough promise in Geno that he's hopeful about his future.


Fingers crossed.

a57se
a57se

@Neil Herschkowitz 

This is classic...if I would have posted what you just did, I would of had responses from SD and Brendan condemning me as a Geno Hater!

SackDance99
SackDance99

@Bent@SackDance99@a57se@Brendan@BDarc23I was particularly disappointed with the game plan against Buffalo after the bye.  It seemed to me that the bye week and break was a good time to open up the offense and catch the Bills by surprise.  Instead, Pettine knew Rex's nature and came up with a game plan like he knew Rex would go conservative, despite the Jets' success against the Bills allowing Geno to run the full offense (it was the defense and horrendous penalty total that made the first game far closer than it should've been).


My rant after the second Bills game was exactly what I said about Sanchez.  Either let the QB run the offense or get one who can because 3 yards and a cloud of dust is both predictable and doomed for failure.  IMO, it's QB abuse to run into 8 men in the box for little or no gain and then expect the QB to pick up the 1st down in 2nd and long or 3rd and long.  Especially when the QB is a rookie and the blitz will be coming with the idea to exploit the rookie LG.

Bent
Bent

@SackDance99 @a57se @Brendan @BDarc23  "Rex admitted that he made a mistake in not letting Geno continue running the complete offense."


That was my fault for wondering aloud during a BGA in September whether simplifying things for him would give the Jets the best chance to win (and maybe it did, but then it made transitioning towards a more rounded gameplan later in the year more tough).

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se@SackDance99@Brendan@BDarc23Not only shorts, in pads in practice.  We just disagree about how he reacts under fire.  IMO, he's gotten much better as the season went on and, more importantly, Rex admitted that he made a mistake in not letting Geno continue running the complete offense.  There's 2 games left, so I still want to see whether, like Eli (and I'm not comparing Geno to Eli, just setting forth a fact), Geno's last 2 games are his best of his rookie season.

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99@a57se@Brendan@BDarc23 

I liked Jeff Blake a lot better then Nagle as well, the Jets were stupid back then. That has nothing to do with Geno......

As has been reported many times, Geno looks great in shorts...we all know that.

There is a big difference between practicing in a red shirt where you KNOW you won't get hit and playing in the game where you are going to get hammered. Geno's game goes way South when it counts.


SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se@SackDance99@Brendan@BDarc23I don't think that's fair.  I look at Geno's games and I see both typical rookie errors and mechanical/technical errors.  IMO, the former outweigh the latter.  Thus, experience and better personnel might improve Geno's numbers, especially INTs.  You see and have always seen massive foundational errors in Geno's game, which I've never seen.


In fact, I commented when I was in Cortland the first weekend and lauded Geno for his technical proficiency.  And, as even you recognize, he's improved on his technical failings.  He steps up in the pocket more, he secures the ball better and he's improved a little his accuracy when he's in motion (he still has to set and throw rather than back foot it).


I just think he's a very talented kid with lots of upside...more than any rookie QB to hit the Jets since Jeff Blake, who should've beaten out Browning Nagle, hence my concern that comments about Geno remain colorblind.

levi
levi

@a57se Ive read SDs comment a couple times trying to figure out why you have such a problem with it and I came up with nothing.

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se@SackDance99@BDarc23 

I agree it is a skill that needs to be learned but don't try and tell me that Geno has improved at that and then compare him to the guys he did in a lame attempt to legitimize the claim.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se Talk about moving goal posts. 


Jesus Christ, man, give it a rest. 

a57se
a57se

@Brendan@a57se 

Actually I was trying to remember what you said the other day and it wasn't irrationally, I think it was relentless optimism........so you are correct, I was wrong, I should have said relentlessly optimistic.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se SD might be the most objective person here that isn't Bent. It's pretty insulting for you to insinuate otherwise, I've been reading his commentary for years now and it's consistently fair and even-keeled. 


Put the guns away, 57. 

Bent
Bent

@a57se @SackDance99 @BDarc23 I've shown just as many examples of Geno forcing a pass when he should have checked down too.


When and where to check down IS a skill that needs to be learned and that was a fair point by SD99.  Your response was unnecessarily hostile.

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99@a57se@Brendan@BDarc23 

At least you would be comparing him to QB's he resembles........NOT ONCE have you objectively looked at a Geno performance and said the kid is lost out there.You always make excuses for every bad play or performance. You always cover for the guy when it is obvious he made a terrible play.

You are the one with a problem, not me...I have no problem praising him when he does something good, he just doesn't do much right very often.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se I'm sorry? You're the one who called me "irrationally optimistic." Another stupid, tired, and baseless criticism people love to lob in my direction. 


There hasn't been anyone harder on Brian Winters than me. I still endorse bringing in another QB next season. I thought the team's best-case was 9 wins, and they still have a shot at getting to 8. 


I'm not irrationally optimistic. I'm realistic, it just bothers you that my objectivity contradicts your biased-based criticisms of certain people/players. 


No goal posts are moved, don't devolve into Hank the Third and use that any time I make a good point. 

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se@Brendan@SackDance99@BDarc23Then, why do you always say that I'm comparing Geno to other (and usually better) QBs when I'm not?


Your Geno-hatred is so apparent it's at this point humorous.  If I had mentioned Andre Ware, Akili Smith or Ryan Leaf, you wouldn't have said a thing.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se 


Hey everybody! If you predicted a 9-7 record this year you were IRRATIONALLYoptimistic. 


Keep swinging, though, you're bound to land one eventually. 

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se@SackDance99@BDarc23Why should I leave top QBs out of the answer when I'm discussing a football topic that isn't directly related to Geno?


Let me educate you.  The checkdown is never the first option, it's usually the last option.  If you're a QB that is confident and has the arm-strength and accuracy to place a ball anywhere, then you'll naturally be reluctant to go to the checkdown.  It takes experience, game awareness and a certain humility for a QB to say to himself, in nanoseconds, that "Yeah, I can thread that pass in there for 30 yards, but I'll check it down to get the 1st down."  If you have a QB that goes to the checkdown all the time, you'll have a QB that constantly misses big play opportunities.  If you have a QB that never checks down, either the QB doesn't go through his progressions quick enough or has foolhardy confidence in his abilities.  

Knowing when and at what times the checkdown is the best play just takes years of experience.  So, I can't get down on Geno, or any young QB, for not checking down because it's a learned trait.  And, for the record, Luck still has to learn to check down better.

a57se
a57se

@Brendan@a57se 

I guess if I was irrationally optimistic like you, I would interpret his remarks like you do.

Thank God I am not! This Blog would be really boring if everyone thought the way you do!

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se The way you seem to misinterpret his comments speaks otherwise. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se @SackDance99 @BDarc23 You're insufferable again. 


SD was simply giving examples, no one is taking those comments to mean Geno is on the level of those QB's. Stop fishing for arguments. 

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99@a57se@BDarc23 

Then say that and leave great QB's out of your answer.

Geno checks down when he has WR's wide open down the field but he can't see them or is afraid of making the throw. Bent has shown several examples of this in his BGA's and there have been more instances.

THAT IS NOT PROGRESS!

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se@SackDance99@BDarc23You always do this and it's annoying.  I wasn't comparing Geno to any of those QBs, I was saying that learning to checkdown isn't as easy as it sounds.