Yikes. Shutdown Corner’s Frank Schwab has some strong opinions about the Jets potential use of Geno Smith as a read-option quarterback.
Smith is not a runner. That’s not a small thing, when your plan is to use him as a runner. He rushed for 342 yards on 245 college carries. Yes, Jets, that 1.4-yard average screams “change-of-pace read-option quarterback,” but resist the temptation.
Not only would this use Smith completely out of position (he was a pocket passer who threw for 73 touchdowns the last two seasons and ran for four), but it stunts his growth. Having Smith learn to run a package of read-option plays just to get him on the field as a gimmick would take up a huge part of his rookie season. When he should be, you know, learning to play quarterback in the NFL.
The best coaching staffs understand their players’ strengths and put them in the best position to succeed. The Jets have apparently never seen Smith play, because based on this plan for him they have no idea what he does well. They’re considering forcing him into a role that doesn’t fit anything he did in college, while pretty much wasting a year of development for a player they desperately need to become a franchise quarterback. You should mock this just like if the Eagles were thinking about playing Matt Barkley at receiver as a rookie. It makes no sense.
Good luck, Geno. If the Jets actually follow through on this horrendous plan, you’re going to need it.
He’s not the only one.
This plan, though, seems doomed to fail. Smith is not going to dominate teams out of run-based packages, and the Jets are not built to sneak in the zone-read or anything similar, especially when such a scheme is telegraphed by Smith’s presence on the field.
For Smith’s sake, at least, let’s hope the Jets nip this idea in the bud.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWow. I’ll confess I didn’t see a ton of Geno’s college games, but Schwab seems pretty adamant that this is not in the best interests of the Jets or Smith. If someone is willing to take that strong a position, it’s certainly at least worth noting.