Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Geno Smith Edition

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses their early impressions of Geno Smith

What have been your early impressions of Geno Smith? 

Joe Caporoso –  I’ve been impressed with Geno Smith’s arm strength and athletic ability but most importantly his poise on the field. The game doesn’t seem too big for him and he has a very even-keeled approach which combined with a short memory are terrific attributes for a New York quarterback to have. Smith seems to have a natural confidence about his game and isn’t rattled by his mistakes.

Now, the mistakes have been ugly at times. Six interceptions in three games is way, way too many and he is still prone to sloppy mechanics and occasional poor decision making. I don’t expect that to disappear but hopefully it will slow down or be limited as the season progresses. Through three games, I find it hard not to feel confident that Smith will be the guy for the rest of the season, gradually improve and be the opening day starter in 2014.

Mike Nolan – So far in the NFL, Geno has been extremely similar to what he was at West Virginia: inconsistent. At times Geno looks great. The most important thing I’ve seen from him is poise. He doesn’t seem to get rattled in big moments or when things go wrong and has delivered a lot of throws while taking some big hits. Also, his deep ball has been one of the best in the NFL through 3 weeks. Other times, he’s not so great. He struggles going through his progressions and tends to hold the ball too long. He has also had some bad turnovers mostly resulting from when he abandons his technique and doesn’t drive off his back leg; leading to under throws.  he good news is he’s played 3 total games in his NFL career and will continue to develop his game moving forward. Geno’s best game was clearly against Buffalo. He needs to build off of this momentum and limit turnovers in order to keep this offense rolling.

TJ Rosenthal –  The difference between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith won’t be found in the stats necessarily. They can be found in demeanor and responses after mistakes and team letdowns. It’s early. Three games in. Smith though, shows us that he is willing to attack downfield and throw with conviction even after undesirable outcomes on previous drives.

He has shown flashes of awareness in escaping the pocket, nice timing on screen plays and a confidence throwing deep. It hasn’t been perfect, but we like what we see so far.

Cole Patterson – So far, Geno Smith has been a mixed bag. The good news is that Smith is not just “not Mark Sanchez.” Following Sanchez’s injury and Smith’s crowning as the starter, many feared that Smith was awarded the job for simply being the devil we didn’t know. After three weeks, Smith has proved otherwise. Smith has many valuable attributes that Sanchez has always lacked, including: pure arm talent, mobility, poise, and leadership. Most importantly, Smith has shown the potential to win games on his own.

However, Smith is second in the NFL with six interceptions (second only to Eli Manning’s eight). These turnovers can be attributed to unrefined read progression and poor decision making (failure to throw the ball away). This is an issue that needs to be fixed, fast. A turnover prone QB won’t keep his job long in this league. He also tends to hold on to the ball for too long, which is a symptom of indecisiveness.

The good news is that Smith has improved in every NFL game so far. Mistakes he made against the Bucs were absent against the Patriots. New mistakes reared their head against the Pats and he looked to address those against the Bills. Based on his drive to improve alone, the sky is the limit for #7. Its just a matter of him putting it together.

Mike O’Connor –  I really love the steps that Geno is already making. In these days, we talk far too much about game-managers and “safe” quarterbacks. Smith isn’t either of those, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not only does that type of role not fit his skillset, but Marty Mornhinweg won’t allow him to be that type of quarterback in his offense, anyway. Smith isn’t refined as a decision-maker, and his reads are even kind of slow. However, the point is, he’s making up for the rookie mistakes that you get with him. Metaphorically, he’s not falling face first when he throws a pick or misses a receiver, he’s stumbling, then regaining balance and making up for it with a big-time throw. The accuracy has been respectable, and the timing has been inconsistent. Yet, at the end of the day, Geno Smith is proving that he has the pure arm talent and smarts to not only keep his team in games, but to be an electrifying player and win them himself. Sure, quarterbacks have bad games, but I feel confident in saying that Smith can only get better from here.

Connor Rogers – Pros:  Excellent command of the offense, “no fear” attitude, good leadership. Seems to be improving on reading coverages each week, as displayed against the Bills with excellent deep throws. Real tough kid, rarely displays pain and has taken a lot of big hits in order to get off big throws.

– Can make every NFL throw, possesses a top flight arm. Never afraid to give his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball. Reads when he needs to move, but rarely overreacts or spins out of control. Productive and efficient runner that forces defenses to contain him or pay the price.


– Accuracy has been an issue at times as displayed in the multiple interception games. Shorter throws are ironically when he gets off target. Can be a victim of staring down his targets leading to safeties shifting over in coverage.

– Learning when to throw the ball away but at times tries too hard to make the big play. Needs to learn basic situational stuff, as shown with risky throw while in field goal range down by three in New England.

Dalbin Osorio – Geno Smith has looked better than I expected. When watching the draft, I hoped Jets didn’t take him with one of their first round picks because there would’ve been too much pressure to play him right away and I didn’t know if he could succeed. Plus, he played predominantly in the shotgun at West Virginia, so I figured there’d be a learning curve. The 6 interceptions are brutal but none can be qualified as anything other than rookie mistakes.

I know that Geno doesn’t like to use that as an excuse, but I’ll use it for him. However, the kid can sling it. His deep throw to Santonio Holmes was a beautiful throw, and he has made alot of them so far. Alot of credit goes to Marty Morningwheg for realizing that Geno feels more comfortable in the shotgun and putting him in the gun repeatedly, but Geno still has to make the plays. His poise is something that I’ve been impressed with as well, because he’s been able to bounce back and not hang his head (something that his predecessor repeatedly did) and continue to lead his team.

The one thing that’s impressed me the most about Geno is that he’s been able to improve so quickly in terms of knowing when to throw the ball away. The game against the Patriots could’ve been a win instead of a loss if Geno, after rolling to the left, just throws the ball away instead of forcing the pass to Santonio Holmes. Faced with a similar situation against the Bills the following week, Geno rolled to his right and threw the ball away. His short term memory has been on display this season. You knew there’d be growing pains, but I didn’t expect him to look this good so fast. When the game starts to slow down for him, I absolutely believe he can be one of the better QBs in the league.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports