This morning, David Nelson was on Boomer & Carton. He had this to say:
David Nelson saying Geno Smith improved once he forced teams out of Tampa-2 by running with the ball more later in the year. Interesting.— PatriotsSB49 (@PatriotsSB49) July 18, 2014
Also consider the following:
@PatriotsSB49 Tampa -2 usually does give Rookie's fits— Blocked Jeremy (@JeremyinAkron) July 18, 2014
For those who don't know, the Tampa-2 Defense is a zone-based scheme that focuses on coverage. It's a 4-3 defense, and the three linebackers and four defensive backs are left in coverage. That leaves the front four to deal with the offensive line. Even if an offense has five receivers split out wide, they're still going to be outnumbered. This is why the scheme is extremely difficult to beat, if executed properly. There simply isn't much space for the receivers to work. That isn't to say it's an impossible scheme to beat, but it's very hard if you don't have much experience against them, like Geno Smith.
It's also why running the ball helps, as Smith found out. When you pull the ball down and take off, the defense can't stay in coverage or they'll give up big yards on the ground. To me, this indicates that Smith's play recognition got better as the year went on, and the game slowed enough that he was able to recognize what to do when he saw the Tampa-2 time and again. It's also good to see that Smith was able to learn from his mistakes. What do you think?