“Well right now, just from watching film, he (Smith) has a good arm, he’s a good athlete and he can throw the ball and make all the throws,” Bowles said when asked about Smith. “Without seeing the intangibles and not being able to talk to him personally, you’re not allowed to see what he knows, where his strengths are and how those things are so as we go forward and when we get him in there we get to sit him down and get to see what he can and can’t do, what he’s good at and what he’s not good at and what kind of intangibles he has going forward.”
One thing that Bowles is focused on changing at quarterback, whether he actually changes quarterbacks or not, next year is cutting down on the turnovers.
“Well, you know, you can’t win games turning the ball over. I think any quarterback in the league going forward has got to be able to protect the football,” Bowles said. “You can’t win without protecting the football. Every quarterback has to know that, Geno included.”
It’s no secret that the Jets will look to bring in competition at the quarterback spot but what Jets fans want to know is will they be able to find a quarterback that can beat out Smith in an open competition?
“Again not to put a probability on it because again you don’t want to kind of pigeon hole yourself, I would say we are actively looking at both pro and college with any position and quarterback is one of the positions that we would like to increase the competition.” Maccagnan said.
“t’s possible. After we evaluate the draft picks and see where we are from there,” Bowles said. “We still have the free agency guys that we may try to bring in and a lot of it is getting to know Geno once we get to bring him in there. But obviously we’d like to have somebody in place, be it a veteran or a rookie, right there.”
As for the quarterbacks in this year’s draft both Bowles and Maccagnan said they still have a lot of work to do in evaluating the class and the biggest chunk of that work will be done when they actually get the chance to meet and work with the players at the combine and at their pro days.
“Without seeing them all on film it would be hard to say. “We’ve seen them some but you got to sit down and go through the process and see if they’re mentally ready, what they know, what they don’t know, how they react, what kind of intangibles they have off the field,” Bowles said. “So, until you’re able to talk to these guys, seeing them throw at the combine and run at the combine that’s all well and good, but until you get those individual workouts where you get to spend time with these guys you’ll make the determination then.”
When asked specifically about Marcus Mariota Maccagnan talked at great lengths about the unknowns and how tough it is to project going forward because of the spread system and a lack of value in his college tape.
“I would say we’re seeing a lot more of that style of offense, and really not to focus on Marcus, I think what happens with a lot of players, especially with the college aspect, there’s more unknowns with them,” Maccagnan said. “So, if you look at what he does in college and then try to project what he’s going to do in the NFL if you don’t see him actually do those things, it’s like anything in life, you have more uncertainty of how he’s going to be able to develop or fulfill his potential because you just don’t see it happen very often.
“It’s not really anything, per se, with the offense it’s just you look at him and you kind of realize that there’s a lot of things that you don’t really see on the college tape that you really put a value on so you have to speculate and then that factors in, when you really analyze those players, you almost have to look as much at their intangibles, and as Todd eluded to before, when you go to their pro days you have to put them in environments where you try to see them do those things. It’s not a perfect science but at least it gives you more of an idea about it.”
It certainly sounds like Maccagnan has some concerns about how Mariota projects to the next level but they will have ample opportunity to meet with and work with him and Jameis Winston as Maccagnan did confirm that the Jets have scheduled interviews with both of the top two quarterbacks.