On Tuesday, Jets QB David Lee held court and talked mostly about QB Geno Smith’s progress as he enters his second season. Smith’s preseason is done, after three games, because starters don’t play in the fourth and final preseason game, Thursday at the Eagles.
Smith has officially been named the starter, at least for Week 1 against Oakland. Throughout this summer, teammates have raved about the progress they see in his composure and confidence.
Lee loves all of that. But most of all, he just wanted to see Smith stop giving the ball away. He threw 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season, and lost four fumbles. Couple that with Mark Sanchez’s 26 turnovers in both 2011 and 2012, and the Jets’ primary quarterbacks over the past three seasons have committed 77 turnovers.
Through three preseason games, Smith threw just one interception – and it appeared to stem from a miscommunication with receiver David Nelson.
“That’s probably been the No. 1 most encouraging thing, is he’s secured the ball in the pocket,” Lee said. “He’s had two hands on the ball, he’s working with two hands on the ball as he’s escaping the pocket and (he’s) moving and sliding. Just his ball security has been a gigantic (improvement). And that’ll be the biggest turnaround thing for us, if he just takes care of the ball and doesn’t get it knocked loose. So that’s a good observation. That’s the big thing he’s improved.”
Smith didn't turn the ball over the Jets final two games last season, which were both victories. He's ranked just 28th on our list and isn't getting a lot of draft day action. The Jets will likely be a run-first team for one reason and the turnover threat is another. We still project Smith for more INTs than TDs. He may have some limited value in some certain matchups. But it appears he's making strides to fix the turnover issues from last year.