One of the loudest criticisms of Jets quarterback Geno Smith during his rookie season was that he didn’t make smart enough decisions when he was in the pocket, leading to turnovers or other negative plays that hindered an already weak offense.
In some of those cases, Smith would have been better off tucking the ball away and trying to run for a first down. Smith says he’s better equipped to do that in his second year on the job. In an interview with the Jets’ website, Smith said he knows that doing so could extend drives when receivers aren’t open, avoid turnovers and make life easier on a defense that had to do too much to keep the Jets in games last season.
“I’ve gotten faster. And I’m also more confident with running the ball. A lot of that has to do with just my confidence with my reads, knowing when to put it down to run to get us some extra yards,” Smith said, via CBS New York. “We want to really put emphasis on getting the ball out on time and being sharp and precise with our throws, but if it’s not there, use that extra asset that we have as runners.”
Speaking generally about Michael Vick, Smith called the veteran quarterback a teacher and a mentor and perhaps some of his running skills have rubbed off on his competition for the quarterback job. If Smith is able to make better use of his feet, it won’t help Vick get on the field but it would be a boost for a Jets offense that has to be better this season.