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Geno Smith's Slower Trigger

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

After Week 1 I wrote a post about how Geno Smith was getting the ball out quickly against the Raiders. One game does not make a season. Neither does three, but the trend of Geno getting the ball out quickly has not stuck. Geno's average in 2014 is now 2.71 seconds from the snap to his pass according to Pro Football Focus. That puts him 28th out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks.

This is a statistic that can mean many things. Russell Wilson is actually last here, and part of that is due to his ability to extend plays. When I watch Geno, though, I get the impression the time is at least partially due to him not delivering the ball quickly enough. The Week 1 interception by Charles Woodson was an example when he both stared down his target and threw late. There are some other cases where this has been true.

This is a critical third down in the fourth quarter against Green Bay. Geno has Greg Salas over the middle.



If Geno gets the ball to Salas, he might be able to run for the first down. Salas doesn't do many things particularly well, but he does seem like a pretty decent runner after the catch. No guarantees, but at least you've got a shot.


Unfortunately Geno waits a tick here, and allows the guy Nick Mangold was blocking to peel off by the time he throws and clog this passing lane.


This seems to force a wide throw. Critical drive over.

Here's another from early Monday night. Geno appears to have a window to throw this deep to throw this deep left to David Nelson.


Every replay angle I have seen makes me think Geno is looking at Nelson here. Geno doesn't let it rip, though. Instead he checks down to Chris Ivory. Ivory does make a nifty run for a gain of 17 yards. That's not really the point, though. There was a bigger gain than 17 available, and checkdowns usually aren't going to net 17 or anything close to it. There aren't really stats for big plays left on the field like these, but missing them is costly. Next let's look at a play where the result wasn't so good.


Again it's Nelson shaking free. It looks like Geno is looking at him as he's about to get open in the end zone leaving the middle zone. Jace Amaro is holding a defender in the right zone.


You can now see the throwing lane.


Geno holds it long enough that a defender gets a run at him. Geno then exacerbates the problem by going back and taking a 13 yard loss.  If you're still convinced that checkdown to Ivory was a good move, this happens a lot more likely when a quarterback shows this kind of tendency.

This is a problem Geno is going to need to overcome. I think it would be fair to say there is a talent deficiency at wide receiver without Eric Decker. The Jets are really relying on play design when they throw it down the field. That requires the quarterback to identify the coverage and make the right read decisively.