As you all know, I have been a big fan of Eugene Cyril Smith III for a long time. Despite his up-and-down rookie season, Smith ended the year on a high note. You can say his stats still weren't great, that the opponents were weak, and I won't particularly disagree. That isn't the improvement to which I'm referring.
In the last few games, it was the little things about Smith's game that improved from awful to decent. They're the things you don't see by just watching the ball on the broadcast, and you need to go back and re-watch to see them. What Smith got better at were things like his footwork, his drop backs, and how he transferred weight during the throw. Smith got better at looking through his progressions, tucking the ball down and running when the time was right, and keeping his eyes up when he did so, looking for an outlet receiver to whom he could throw.
It was a lot of little things, and I think they were made more evident this preseason. It was especially clear in the game against the New York Giants, that this was a different Geno Smith. He was both calm and collected. He knew where to go with the ball and understood when to take a risk and what he was looking at. I don't mean to suggest that he was perfect; he wasn't. But Smith's improvement was undeniable, unless you're intentionally looking for negatives or have already made your mind up. It isn't to say he's definitely a top quarterback, but I don't believe you can rationally question whether or not he has improved. For the record, I'm predicting 3,500 yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 61% completion rate.
I'm looking forward to this season, perhaps more than I have in a few years. I think we're about to see a revelation in quarterbacking for the New York Jets, one we haven't seen since 2008. I think this is going to be an enjoyable season for fans in the sense that, by the end, even if the team isn't in the playoffs, it will leave fans with hope.
For fans, hope is a good thing to have. It's often the only thing fans have. I'm hopeful about Geno Smith. You should be as well.