Jets may use Geno Smith as ‘change-of-pace’ QB

Geno Smith is expected to give Mark Sanchez a run for his money in the upcoming starting quarterback competition.

But even if he doesn’t win, the ex-Mountaineer could still find himself on the field.

According to Rich Cimini of, the Jets are “toying with the idea” of using Smith as a “change-of-pace quarterback” if he doesn’t earn the starting job.

In this scenario, Smith would have a package of plays — mostly of the read-option variety — that could “exploit his speed.” However, Smith, mainly a pocket quarterback at West Virginia, rarely found himself outside of shotgun, let alone in a Wildcat-type formation. Cimini says Smith “gives the impression he wouldn’t be thrilled in that role.”

Nor should he be.

This idea reeks of last season’s failed Tim Tebow experiment, and seems to have Rex Ryan’s fingerprints all over it. Smith, who’s reportedly had a “lackluster” offseason, simply may not be cut out for the read-option, and fitting a square peg into a round hole is no way to develop a young signal-caller.

(Photo credit: Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports,,, and Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (