Report: Jets “toying” with using Geno Smith to change pace


When the Jets traded for Tim Tebow last year, many speculated that they would use him as a change-of-pace quarterback with his own package of offensive plays that the team would use to expand their options when they had the ball.

Tebow only played sparingly on offense in 2012 and the Jets were roundly ridiculed for the way they deployed him. According to a report from Rich Cimini of, however, the team hasn’t totally given up the idea of having a backup quarterback with his own portfolio even though last year’s offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is now coaching the offensive line in Oakland.

Per Cimini, Jets coaches are “toying” with the idea of using rookie Geno Smith as a change-of-pace quarterback if he doesn’t win the starting job with a package of plays centered on the read-option. The idea is to make use of Smith’s speed while also giving him game experience he wouldn’t get otherwise, although Cimini points out one potential stumbling block in Smith’s limited history of success on designed runs while in college.

While the Jets offense can surely use any wrinkle that makes it more successful, the notion of shuttling quarterbacks in and out of the game only underlines how badly the Jets need to find a quarterback that they aren’t willing to take off the field for chunks of the game. The Jets presumably selected Smith in the second round of the draft because they felt he had the potential to be that kind of player and they’ll likely be best served by keeping him focused on attaining that goal as quickly as possible rather than returning to a well that bore no water last season.

58 responses to “Report: Jets “toying” with using Geno Smith to change pace

  1. Worked just SO well last time. Seriously, I hate the jets but if they had any sense they would take their lumps with Geno. But than again I would love to see the Sanchize under center next year for our benefit!

  2. back to back AFC championship games to this. As a dolphins fan i really have no room to talk… but LOL!

  3. The Eagles tried something like this a couple of times. Way back when, when Jaworski was the starter, and Buddy Ryan the coach, they brought in Randall Cunningham to be the 3rd-and-long QB. This was partly because the Eagles O-line was so bad that Jaws was getting killed, but also because Cunningham had the athletic ability to create something out of nothing.

    And a few years ago Reid tried to mix Vick in with Kolb for a “change of pace” type role. That did not work well at all. It threw everyone off rhythm IMO.

  4. What’s the deal with the Jets’ FO and coaching staff? Do they not realize they are the laughing stock of the entire league? Why do they keep pulling crap like this?

  5. Geno Smith is a pocket passer. Why would he run read-option plays as a change-of-pace quarterback? Have the Jets never watched Geno Smith play football?

  6. Weren’t they going to use Tebow that way last year ? So in other words he’ll sit on the bench the whole year and be released in 2014 ?

  7. Give me a break. Aren’t they sick of being the laughing stock of the league?? If they think Sanchez can’t do it at least give him a fighting chance!!!!!! They have set him up for failure for the past three years. I love the Jets but right now over the last two years its been a tough road being a fan. The team is a joke

  8. “That’s 7 balls in a row that hit the ground! Let’s take Mark out and put in the guy we only want to run the ball with….they’ll never guess what he’s gonna do next! We’ll even let him run to the left a few times! It’s GENIUS!”

  9. What folks forget is that the “change of pace” is a change for the Offense. Nothing changes on the D side of the ball. So while the offense is breaking out the “new” the D is just hunting for the football, as usual. When someone takes a “change of pace” offense to the playoffs and succeeds, I’ll change my pace.

  10. This is another in a long line of bad ideas from the Jets. They chose not to use Tebow not because he couldn’t fill the role, but because Sanchez is soft mentally. They would’ve completely lost Sanchez and Tebow was not the answer. ..obviously…at starter. The Jets have no plan. Geno is another weak-minded Jets QB that they’ll coddle and it’ll cost Rex his job. In no way will this work out well for them. I say (as an amateur GM…lol) that you take your lumps with Geno (if you’re Rex) because that’ll be the only way you possibly save your job. I mean just look at Sanchez and his headband. ..enough said!

  11. I’m no Jets hater, but it really seems like they don’t know what they’re doing over there.

  12. Basically they’re working him into the starting position. Onve Geno grasps the offense Sanchize is done.

  13. Because the change of pace thing worked so well with Tebow last year. The Jets are the most clueless team in the league.

  14. I’m a Dolphins fan, and don’t think the Jets should be ridiculed for this. If you have a QB who is comfortable on the run, it only makes sense to design plays that he is comfortable running at first. See what the 49ers did the first year they has Kaepernick. If Smith doesn’t turn out, oh well, it still wasn’t a bad pick by the Jets. Remember, Smith was being considered as a number 1 overall pick at some point.

  15. It’s been a bad off-season for us pats fans – Hernandez, Dennard – you know the drill.

    So a lot us have been sitting around with our whine (!! – beatcha2ikt!!)) and cheese and mumbling about how tough life is, and then the JETS come to our rescue with some laughs.

    Thanks guys – we can always count on you

  16. The Jets are the team that never learns. They will try the same stupid thing over and over. All they did here is draft another inaccurate passer.

  17. I never believed the ‘smoke and mirror’s’ angle ever worked. I mean either you have a guy with a good arm an the ability to scramble or you don’t.

    If I had to make an educated guess, it’s the Jets don’t see Geno in a starting role yet? If he is good he plays. If not its a something else and its sounding more something else to me.

  18. No source named in Cimini’s article. He just says, ‘coaches’. Until one of those coaches are going on record as stating this is their intent, I would not put too much faith in what Cimini may or may not have overheard by pressing his ear up against the door using a glass.

  19. Just guessing here, but maybe the real problem with the Jets’ offense is that Rex Ryan is a D-minded coach. I think this piecemeal approach to QB comes from his not understanding how a good offense should work.

    For the second season in a row, the Jets are trying to use the complex notion that your O can flip a switch and play two separate packages without it disrupting the rhythm of of play.

    Rex needs to choose a QB and build around him. Proven by last years’ O plan, this just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Yet here we are.

  20. If I was Geno, I’d not want to be associated with, compared to, or likened in any way to the way the Jets did not use Tebow. Since I am not really a big fan, I have to say this reminds me of a previous post regarding this team.

  21. @dolphinfansam…. Geno Smith was never seriously considered the #1 overall pick. That was all hype. He is also not a change of pace read-option guy. He has some ability being mobile, but I wouldn’t want this guy being a runner. Simply put….the Jets have no idea what they have if this rumor is true. I think he is a re-packaged Mark Sanchez honestly, but that’s just me.

  22. Manziel and Namath will be drinking buddies this time next year when Johnny football is picked by the Jets no. 1 overall.

  23. Smith worked out of the pocket in college, he is a pocket QB. What is it with coaches thinking they can just throw a black kid in there and have him be a read option QB? Stereotypes galore here.

  24. icdogg says:

    The Eagles tried something like this a couple of times. Way back when…

    And a few years ago Reid tried to mix Vick in with Kolb for a “change of pace” type role. That did not work well at all. It threw everyone off rhythm IMO.

    For the intellectually challenged; this is a downright lie. How on Earth could Vick be used as a “change of pace” when Kolb was hurt and taken out of the 1st game in the 1st half? Vick took over and was the starter for the rest of the season.

    And for the people that give thumbs up when they don’t know what information is false, you know you can always just not vote.

    Vick had his chance in 2011, did decent, but eventually proved that he couldn’t handle being an NFL caliber QB.

  25. It was either Joe Banner or Albert Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  26. Could you imagine a team taking a Manning, Brady or Rodgers off the field to put in a change of pace Quarterback? It wouldn’t happen. Why? Because it doesn’t work. It is a total waste of time and money, besides the fact that it kills your starting Quarterback and his self-esteem. Takes his confidence, stomps on it, rolls it over and calls it Sally. Its a bad move for any team. Especially a QB like Mark Sanchez, who’s been through so many ups and downs in his career. Sanchez needs somebody that truly believes in his abilities, not someone like Rex Ryan, who puxxy-footed around the media’s questions all the time.

  27. When has that worked in the NFL? It hasn’t! it won’t! Just start whom ever wins the QB competition, which should be Sanchez, and let Smith develop while Sanchez blows the season.

  28. Did they learn anything from last year? They rarely used Tebow, but made it too predictable when they did. They would sub out Sanchez after he got 3 completions, icing their own player. They are a below average team who will start Sanchez for 4-6 weeks, then bring in Geno for experience and see if he is competent to make him the future or draft another QB next year.

  29. I am not a jet fan by any means. Ha Ha Ha but its just starting to get to people the stupidity of this team. Its like Pete and Repete are running the operation. Once again Ha Ha Ha.!!!!!!

  30. All that will be achieved is division in the locker room. Of course, not a very difficult achievement. It’s one thing to bring in a RB to do a wildcat play, but competing QB’s splitting plays just leads to problems.

  31. To have a “change of pace” you need to at least have a pace to change. And people wonder why Sanchez has no confidence. The Jets “braintrust” starts undermining this guy in the offseason as soon as they get a chance. And why do their “coaches” run to the media with this kind of stuff? They really are some stupid people.

  32. Marty Mornhinweg doesn’t learn. This is the same thing he and Andy Reid tried with Michael Vick when McNabb was still the starter for the Eagles.

    Didn’t work then, either.

  33. If the Jets are still “toying” with this idea, Rex Ryan has to go. It was so painfully obvious last year what a bad idea it was. Never worked, EVER. Killed the momentum on the offense every time. It has never worked on any other NFL offense at any other time as well. I thought Rex learned a couple of big lessons last year. I guess I was wrong. The Sparano offense of last year was the worst I have seen in 40 years of watching Jets football. Paul Hackett’s offense was a close second. But, at least, Hackett didn’t try to use a change of pace Quarterback scheme. It cost Sparano his job. It will cost Rex Ryan his, too.

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