- John Hazelet
Geno Ready for a Big Year
Geno Smith has taken much abuse from fans and the media his first two seasons as starting QB in New York and he has deserved every bit of it. Who can forget all the interceptions, busted plays and his ability to tell time on the West Coast?
But for the sake of argument, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a minute. I think it is fair to say he was over matched his rookie year. With offensive “weapons” like an unmotivated and injured Santonio Homes, a second round bust in Stephen Hill and a fading star in Kellen Winslow, Geno had over achiever Jeremy Kerley as his top producing WR. Now I like Kerley and think he is a productive player in the league but can anyone fairly call him a WR1?
Fast forward to last year.. Even though John Idzik took a lot of heat (much earned) for not improving the Jets roster, he actually did improve the offense ever so slightly. The signing of Eric Decker, drafting Jace Amaro and the mid season trade for Percy Harvin was a major upgrade in talent from what Geno had to work with year one. That being said, we did see Geno have a better season than his first. In 2013 Geno has 12 TD, 21 INT, 3046 yards, Completion percentage 55% and a QB rating of 66.5. In 2014: 13 TD, 13 INT, 2525 Yards, Completion percentage of 59.5% and 75.5 QB rating. Not the huge step forward that Jets fans had hoped for but a step forward none the less. The fact that he cut his interceptions down and improved his completion percentage should not go over looked.
So that brings us to 2015. A new GM, a new Head Coach, a new system and a new philosophy in the organization… that has to mean a better year for the Jets, doesn’t it? Take a look at the weapons Geno will have to work with this season. Brandon Marshall, the first true WR1 the Jets have had in a long time. Eric Decker, now slides to the WR2 spot he was most productive in when with Denver. Second Round Pick Devin Smith will line up both in the slot and outside and will keep defenses honest. Jeremy Kerley, most likely will slide to what I like to call the “Wayne Chrebet/Wes Welker” role. Jace Amaro, productive as a rookie with a few too many drops is poised to take a nice step forward in his second season.
What does all this mean for Geno? We don’t know yet. But you have to say, the chances of him improving are a very good bet. Chan Gailey has a very QB friendly system that plays a lot from the shotgun, which is one of Geno’s strengths. Do I think he is a pro bowler? I don’t. Do I think he can lead this team to the playoffs? With the surrounding cast he has on both sides of the football, I think so. I will even go as far to say he may be worth a late pick up for Fantasy Football owners as a low end match up based QB2.
One thing with Geno Smith for 2015 you can count on. He has no excuses not to make a major improvement. This is a make or break year for him, not only with the Jets but for his career in the NFL.