The New York Jets named second-year quarterback Geno Smith as their starter after he beat out veteran Michael Vick for the job during training camp and preseason action.
The Jets are looking forward to see what Smith is able to do with the experience he received from last season, and they believe that he will take a step forward. Smith did look much better in preseason action, and has more weapons to work with than he had in his rookie year as well.
Head coach Rex Ryan spoke to the media about Smith as the Jets gear up to face the Oakland Raiders in Week 1.
He’s night and day different. Each guy comes from a different system or whatever, but there was no three-step drop, five-step drop, seven-step drop where he came from. It was very different for him, but this young man has shown a ton of poise.
At the end of last season, the last month of the year, he was the second-highest quarterback rating in the National Football League. Everybody wants to talk about … Now, he was dead last up until that point, but they assume that he was dead last the whole season and that’s not the case.
You’ll have a chance to see him up close and personal. He is a guy that is poised, much more than he was last year. He can make the throws. He’s got a big, strong arm. He knows where he’s going with the football, so he looks sharp to me.
This will be a very intriguing situation to keep an eye on as the season moves forward. Smith is a very talented player who has a few flaws that will need to be worked out before he reaches anything close to his full potential. He has a good arm and is very athletic, which allows him to keep the defense guessing at all times.
Last season with the Jets, Smith ended up playing in all 16 regular season games. He threw for 3,046 yards and 12 touchdowns, but also threw 21 interceptions and that hurt the team a lot. One of the main things that he has been working on this offseason is taking care of the football and holding back from forcing a big play. If he is able to do that consistently this year, the Jets’ offense is going to be much better.
All of that being said, the Jets are very excited about Smith this season. They are hoping that he is able to be their franchise quarterback of the future, and these comments from Ryan definitely make it sound like Smith has taken a major leap forward. Smith will be facing a much improved Oakland defense this week, but it will be a good first test for him of the year.