There's something Jets QB Geno Smith began doing in December that really helped him as a passer: He started running the ball. In those final four games, Smith racked up 186 of the 366 rushing yards he would compile during a season in which he started all 16 games, and he ran it 10 times in both of the season's final two games, both of which were Jets victories.
"Last year at this time, it was 24/7 coaching footwork, where his eyes are, what his progression is, who his initial read is, all of the different looks he could see," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "This year, we call a play, and—boom, he’s sprinting in and he’s got it. Quite different than last year."
Figuring out how and when to tuck it in and run—especially for a quarterback who was every bit a traditional pocket passer in college at West Virginia—was something of a eureka moment for Smith, at least according to Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee.
"In early December it started happening and [we] started seeing it in practice, him really finishing plays and starting to know where people are and really getting it when we told him we wanted to him run with the football," Lee said. "The taking off and running part just really took hold of him and started to mesh in his brain about December and he started hurting people running the football in the last month of the season. So, I think that made him more of a threat."
Smith finished as the #20 QB in his rookie season, but his per game production (12.5 PPG) left something to be desired. He showed a better-than-expected ability to run around the goal line, resulting in six rushing TDs. Mornhinweg mentioned Smith's play in the final four games of the season. He did average 20.0 fantasy points during that span, compared with just 10.0 FP in the first 12 games. He ran for three TDs down the stretch while throwing for just 198 yards and 1.0 TD. From a fantasy perspective, it would probably be better if the experienced Michael Vick were under center, but it certainly sounds like it's Smith's job to lose. The arrival of Eric Decker, Chris Johnson and Jace Amaro should help.