Jets quarterback Geno Smith turned in his best performance since October in last Sunday’s 37-27 victory over the Raiders and he’s crediting it to acting more like a human being.
During the week leading up to the game against the Raiders, a game that came a week after Smith was benched against the Dolphins, Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg made loosening up a priority for the rookie quarterback. Mornhinweg felt Smith had become too focused on doing everything fundamentally correct and thinking too much instead of letting his instincts come through on the field. Smith agreed with that assessment.
“I was playing like a robot. Everything is not ideal on the field. Sometimes you’ve got to improvise,” Smith said, via the New York Times. “I think I kind of got into this zone where I just tried to be way too perfect. And that’s almost impossible to do at any level, especially as a rookie. There were times where I was so caught up in running the play and executing it to perfection that I didn’t allow my natural ability to take over.”
There was more improvisation from Smith against the Raiders as he ran five times for 50 yards and a touchdown, but the proof of a real change will come over the final three weeks because we’ve seen flashes of good from Smith followed by flashes of bad more than once this season. Playing the Panthers on the road this week will give us a better idea about the permanence of the non-robotic Smith.