Jets may use Geno Smith as "change-of-pace quarterback"

Jets may use Geno Smith as 'change-of-pace quarterback'

7/15/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

When the New York Jets acquired Tim Tebow last offseason, there was excitement due to the prospects of Tebow moving the chains and pounding the ball into the end zone as a situational wildcat quarterback. Tebow's playing time with the Jets ended up being miniscule, as the team seemingly used the hype surrounding him as a decoy that didn't work.

When the Jets cut ties with Tebow, it appeared that the mess of trickery and confusion behind center was over, with rookie quarterback Geno Smith - a strict pocket passer in college - coming in to compete with the incumbent Mark Sanchez for the starting job.
Jun 11, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) runs with the ball during the New York Jets minicamp session at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
However, it appears that the Jets may still have some tricks up their sleeve. ESPN New York's Rich Cimini wrote Monday that the Jets "are toying with the idea of turning Smith into what Tebow was supposed to be last season -- a change-of-pace quarterback (assuming he doesn't win the starting job)." Cimini goes on to suggest that Smith would be given a package of read-option run plays to utilize his speed.

Smith proved to be one of the 2013 draft's most athletic quarterbacks during the NFL combine, but his experience in the read-option is limited. While at West Virginia, Smith was utilized successfully as a traditional pocket passer who had the explosiveness and athleticism to bust a big play on the ground if necessary. West Virginia did call a limited number of designed run plays for Smith, but the small sample size will tell you that he was ineffective in those situations.

Just when you thought that the Jets would finally have a real quarterback competition to crown a real starting quarterback, this report comes out of left field. It's still far from a sure thing, and if Smith wins the quarterback competition it will all be irrelevant, but if Sanchez wins, he could have another gadget player impeding on his playing time.

After watching the turmoil that Tebow caused last season, combined with Smith's unimpressive track record as a read-option quarterback, it looks like the Jets would be heading down the wrong path if they opt for using a Sanchez-Smith tandem behind center. Of course, it wouldn't be the first time that the Jets made a highly questionable decision regarding their signal callers.
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