With Jets OTAs progressing through the hot summer days in Florham Park, one new quarterback is seeing a vast improvement in his game since joining the team in late April. Geno Smith, the Jets second round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, has been progressing steadily in his transition to the NFL. The rookie quarterback has impressed during practice and is setting the stage for what is rapidly becoming another quarterback controversy.
Smith contends that he is transitioning to the league very well and has received a lot of positive feedback on his play. The West Virginia alumnus is trying to learn a new style of offense from what he is used to. Smith has seen the read option before. In his first two years as a Mountaineer, the team used read plays to move the offense downfield. He believes that the read option has become a viable offense in today's NFL, especially with the emergence of young mobile quarterbacks.
"We had pretty much a West Coast style," spoke Smith of his WVU days. "We also ran some read option. I think it's just a good way to keep defenses honest. It's become a trend more in the NFL with athletic quarterbacks. It's something I'm welcome to doing and I take full advantage of those reps out on the field."
One of the main obstacles standing in the way of Smith's eventual maturity into the starting role has been the absence of the dynamic receivers on the Jets roster. Second year receiver Stephen Hill has recently suffered a setback in his knee and Santonio Holmes is rumored to be placed on the PUP list which will have him sit out up to training camp.
"Those guys are great receivers," said Smith of his teammates. "Those guys also bring a great dynamic to the offense, but like I said, we have to take advantage of what we have here now. The guys that we have in are out there competing their butts off, doing a great job of getting in and out of reps, in and out of routes, and just doing a great job overall."
Smith is also making an impact on the team with his personality and his leadership. Smith leads by example and inspires others through his work ethic. He states that he just does what is asked of him and finds a way to better himself throughout the offseason. When asked what a quarterback's number one responsibility was, Smith firmly stated that the number one priority should be to win games.
"I just go out there and do things that come natural to me," noted Smith. "I go out there and try to motivate the guys. I try to talk to them as much as I can."
With Mark Sanchez already drawing negative criticism from the coaching staff, including a public comment on his interception totals during OTAs, the writing is on the wall for Smith to start Week 1 of the 2013 season. Whether he will or not remains to be seen. If Smith does get his opportunity he appears primed to seize the moment. The former Mountaineer is already showing signs of becoming a franchise quarterback and has made an instant impact on the team. Should his great play continue throughout the offseason, expect to see Smith under center in the first snap of the upcoming season.