Florham Park, N.J. – The Jets hired Marty Mornhinweg to produce an “attacking” offense for Geno’s big arm. The plan was to move away from the out-of-date, Rex Ryan adored, ground-and-pound. As of now Geno Smith’s performance is making that transition difficult.
Smith has committed a league high 22 turnovers so far this season. He averaged over 18 completions in the first three games, but has failed to even hit double digits in his last three. Over the last five games the team has reverted to their old ways, running as much as they throw.
“Each week you go in with a certain plan and when they don’t work,” Ryan said. “I understand the questions or whatever, but each week, it’s a new challenge and your plan may vary one week from the next.”
Ryan won’t blame the rookie’s poor play for the change in the game plan.
“I don’t look at it just individually,” Ryan said. “I look at it as a unit and as a team. We know it comes down to execution and clearly we’ve been inconsistent in our execution, whether you can look at Geno, whether you can look at whoever. It’s the end result that counts and I think that’s more on the unit and the team.”
Smith shared his coaches sentiment.
“I don’t think we’ve shied away from it or gotten away from it,” Smith said. “I just think we haven’t executed it as well as we’ve done in the past.”
And Smith doesn’t think the failed execution is due to the play calling.
“We’ve had plenty of opportunities to take shots down the field,” Smith said. “One thing is that defenses are keying on that and playing us to that. They are trying to take that away.”
Despite the reason, it’s clear Smith’s attempts are down. He has thrown almost half as many 15-yard plus throws in the past 4 games as he did in the first seven weeks. But the rookie admits he could do better with the opportunities he has been given.
“When you get a chance to take shots, it’s always fun, you give your guys an opportunity to make plays,“ Smith said. “It takes a ton of precision [to throw downfield] and, quite honestly, I haven’t been as precise as I was in the first couple of games,”
“The precision in the passing game,” Mornhigweg pauses and feistily says, “There’s been none. And that really bothers me.”
Mornhigweg says this, but, like Rex, won’t blame Geno. “We’ve got to play better and I’ve got to do a better job,” the offensive coordinator says. “If [I] don’t take responsibility, [we’re] not going to get better.”
Both Rex and Mornhinweg said they’ve seen positive improvement in Geno.
“It might not look like it,” Rex said. “But last week, I thought he was tremendous in the pocket.”
“It sounds crazy, but Geno has made some strides,” Mornhinweg said.
But will there ever be a point when a coach actually says, “We’re not happy. We are over it.”?
Rex has made it clear this week that he’s not interested in replacing Smith with fellow inexperienced quarterback, Matt Simms. He even went to the extent to say something today that gets a lowbrow expression from me.
“Matt Simms is phenomenal on the sideline,” Rex said. “Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to start. He pulls for him. I’m there with him. I see it. I hear it. It’s genuine. That’s a great thing about him. He’s in Geno’s camp all the way and vice versa.”