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New York Jets already seem intent on screwing up Geno Smith, toying with ‘change-of-pace’ role

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

We already know the New York Jets have struggled to develop quarterbacks.

At least drafting Geno Smith in the second round was a chance for the Jets to hit the reset button. Maybe mold the quarterback who looked so good at times at West Virginia into a player they could build around. Learn from their mistakes and do it the right way with Smith.

But no, this is the Jets. They apparently figure that Smith might work well as a "change-of-pace" quarterback as a rookie. Because they used Tim Tebow so well in that role last season.

It's almost like the Jets are actively trying to screw up the process of developing a quarterback.

As you read this tidbit from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini, it's practically impossible to not shake your head while you do so:

"The coaches 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). Smith would have a package of plays, mainly read-option runs that could exploit his speed," Cimini wrote.

What??? The only appropriate response to this is: No, no, no. A thousand times no. Someone please step in and stop this.

[Also: John Elway is becoming an all-time great GM]

Smith is not a runner. That's not a small thing, when your plan is to use him as a runner. He rushed for 342 yards on 245 college carries. Yes, Jets, that 1.4-yard average screams "change-of-pace read-option quarterback," but resist the temptation.

Not only would this use Smith completely out of position (he was a pocket passer who threw for 73 touchdowns the last two seasons and ran for four), but it stunts his growth. Having Smith learn to run a package of read-option plays just to get him on the field as a gimmick would take up a huge part of his rookie season. When he should be, you know, learning to play quarterback in the NFL.

The best coaching staffs understand their players' strengths and put them in the best position to succeed. The Jets have apparently never seen Smith play, because based on this plan for him they have no idea what he does well. They're considering forcing him into a role that doesn't fit anything he did in college, while pretty much wasting a year of development for a player they desperately need to become a franchise quarterback. You should mock this just like if the Eagles were thinking about playing Matt Barkley at receiver as a rookie. It makes no sense.

Good luck, Geno. If the Jets actually follow through on this horrendous plan, you're going to need it.

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