Wildcat Will Not Help Geno
The New York Jets have had Geno Smith run the wildcat in at least one practice this offseason. If the team does this during the regular season, it will not help Smith in his development.
Two different reports stated the Jets had Smith run the wildcat on June 13. The Jets "spent most of practice running the Wildcat," Brian Costello of the New York Post tweeted, "More than I ever remember them doing it last year when you know who was here."
The wildcat formation is typically when a running back is directly behind the center and the quarterback and wide receivers and tight end(s) line up near the line of scrimmage. That person could give the ball to another offensive player, run it, or throw it.
Last season, the Jets ran the wildcat with media sensation Tim Tebow. Tebow had experience running this kind of formation at the University of Florida and with the Denver Broncos.
Smith has little experience running the wildcat prior to the Jets drafting him in April. At West Virginia University, Smith frequently ran a spread offense.
The spread offense is when the quarterback is the only player behind the center and the wide receivers and tight end(s) line up at or near the line of scrimmage.
According to Marc Sessler: Around the League Writer, “Geno wasn't an option-based signal-caller at West Virginia. He ran a frenzied, creative attack with the Mountaineers, but he's a dropback passer at the core.”
Smith was a successful quarterback for WVU. In his final two seasons at WVU, he threw for more than 8,000 passing yards and his touchdown to ratio was 73:13.
The Jets will be running a West Coast Offense this year under a new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg. This offense is when there is a quarterback, two running backs behind the quarterback on the left and right side, and the wide receivers and tight end(s) line up at or near the line of scrimmage.
It will take a while for Smith to master the West Coast Offense because of the type of system it is.
In the spread offense, Smith could easily throw a long pass to a receiver or run with the ball. However, in the West Coast Offense it is a mix of run plays and quick, precise passes.
It would make no sense for Smith to have to learn two different offensive schemes at the same time, especially as a rookie.
When the Jets drafted him in the second round by trading up for him, it immediately indicated he is the team’s quarterback of the future.
Eventually, the Jets will bench, release or trade, if that is an option, Mark Sanchez. The only way Smith would excel in any of the listed scenarios is if he only focuses on the West Coast Offense.
Learning the wildcat will not help Geno find a permanent place with the Jets.