Geno Smith: A Reflection on the First Quarter of 2014

4 games of 2014 down. 20 career starts over. What have we learned about Geno Smith? Unfortunately, not much we didn't already know going into this season (for those of us without the rose-colored glasses, that is). As of the first four games of the 2014 season, Geno Smith is still a bottom of the barrel QB.

Mechanics, mechanics, mechanics.

As was the crux of his problem last year, Geno Smith has some of the ugliest mechanics in the league. There isn't anything this guy does well from a mechanics standpoint and there has sadly been zero progression from game 1 to game 20.


Marty puts Geno in the shotgun all the time for one reason only: to hide his terrible footwork. In spite of this, Geno still manages to look like he was just introduced to his feet for the first time yesterday. How many QB's regularly take 5 steps back FROM THE SHOTGUN? It's almost unimaginable, especially considering this is supposed to be HIS STRENGTH. I can understand from a designed play or if the pocket immediately collapses, but if Geno isn't making a quick dump off, his go-to is a 5 stepper. And these aren't 5 good steps either. He shuffles, he double-steps, he hops, he doesn't plant, he gets skiddish, etc. There isn't a mistake that can be made with footwork, aside from tripping over your own two feet, that Geno doesn't make regularly. It would actually be impressive if it wasn't so sad.

This sloppy footwork is where all his other problems are birthed, in my eyes. If he actually had the feet of a QB, he might be able to clean up the rest of his game. Instead:


I am having a hard time remembering another time when our starting QB consistently under-threw and over-threw his targets. Much has been said of how lousy our receiving core is. No argument there, it is obvious we have sub-par receivers and there have most definitely been drops and poorly run routes. But take a closer look at Geno's throws and you'll realize that the receivers aren't the problem, or at least not a big one. Even on the completed passes you'll see the same pattern of Geno not being able to hit his target in stride. Almost ever.

It doesn't if matter the route is a 3 step slant in, 5 step slant in, dump off screen, deep sideline sprint, curl around the edge, curl back into center, you name it, Geno almost never hits his receiver with proper placement if the receiver is in motion. Yes, Geno completes passes, but they are usually a half step late or early or high or low and the receiver has to make adjustments that never should have been necessary to make. A good QB will make his receivers better by putting the ball in a place where he can extend the play easily. A bad QB will rely on his receivers to cover up his poor accuracy and we simply don't have good enough receivers to be able to expect that.

These throws happen whether he is pressured, has all the time in the world, the receiver is blanketed, the receiver is covered, the play is executed as designed, the play is the result of improvisation, etc. Geno just has no timing and it's most evident on the easy throws he routinely misses or makes difficult. What's most alarming is he seems clueless as to how to fix it. One play it's an under-throw, the next it's an over-throw, the next it's behind, the next it's a pick. He's all over the place.

Reading The Defense:

Geno still looks like a clueless college kid 20 starts into his pro career. An important factor to this is that he still can't read an NFL D. He's not getting rid of the ball in any sort of reasonable window and then, when the pocket breaks down and he needs to choose whether he's going to run it or pass, he hangs on to the ball with an uncertainty to rival me performing open heart surgery. He just looks like he has no idea what to do on any given play and that when he does get rid of the ball on time, it's one of the three plays he's comfortable with. At this point in his career, we shouldn't have to chop down the playbook the way we have and we shouldn't have to anticipate him being to indecisive to make a pass in the necessary window. I don't know how many times he's run out of bounds or thrown it away, but I would bet it's far more to do with Geno not knowing where to look and when to throw than it is with his receivers not being open.


Geno is bad and we should feel bad. I had arguments on here with many, if not most of you that Geno did not, in fact, "improve" last year. I credited the slight uptick in output as a result of a significantly hedged playbook masking his inability to perform well at a pro level. Well, this year, even with his shortened playbook (why does a second year pro need a shortened playbook btw?), he stinks. Like, really really bad. He had one game in which he was decent and that came against the Oakland Raiders. Anyone want to check out the stat-line of the three other QB's to play the 0-4 Raiders this season? It takes one of the league's worst passing defense's for Geno to look competent. Anything else? He looks like what he is: a really, really bad NFL QB.

One final thing to note: The Jets are deprived of talent in many areas this year. Nevertheless, I don't think there's a single other position that I can say with as much certainty that if we went from having a bad player to a good player, we would be undefeated right now. If Geno Smith was even an average NFL passer and we had exactly the same team we do now, our season is completely different.

Bench Geno Smith and cut him at seasons end. I will not tolerate another year and three-quarters of Mark Sanchez 2.0

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