Geno Smith's 2013 season thus far has been a roller coaster of good and bad. In other words, he's playing the part of a rookie quarterback.
Smith, however, has been a bigger part of the solution than the problem, and anyone who watches the New York Jets signal-caller on a week-to-week basis can see the coaster is progressively trending upward.
"You see him growing and obviously when he takes care of the ball, they're going to be successful," Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday, via NewYorkJets.com. ". . . He's not playing like a deer in the headlights and necessarily, when you watch how he played a week ago, he doesn't necessarily look like a rookie quarterback."
The Jets' defense, which has been stellar up front, has played a big role in the Jets' surprising success this year, but it's become quite clear that the team goes as Smith goes. The West Virginia product has nine touchdowns (passing and rushing) and three turnovers in the Jets' four wins compared to just a single touchdown and nine turnovers in three losses.
Lewis' "deer in headlights" point is a good one, as Smith's demeanor has stayed the same throughout -- something that has noticeably set him apart from former Jets starter Mark Sanchez.
Gang Green will continue to see growth from their young signal-caller as long as they continue to tailor their game plan to Smith's attributes. The next opportunity to do so is on the road against a tough Bengals squad.
"I think with Marty [Mornhinweg] and other coaches and Rex [Ryan] and so forth, they've really, I think, done a good job of building this offense and doing the things around his abilities and skills," Lewis said.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com