Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mornhinweg: Geno ahead of normal rookie pace


Geno Smith is inherently behind in the battle for the New York Jets' starting quarterback job. According to his offensive coordinator, he's ahead in the rookie race.

Gang Green drafted Smith, the former West Virginia signal-caller, in the second round in April to compete with incumbent Mark Sanchez for the team's first-string gig. Sanchez is the favorite for Week 1, but Smith will have every opportunity to dethrone Sanchez if he struggles out of the gate.

If Smith continues to develop at the rate coordinator Marty Mornhinweg says he's moving at, Smith will be taking snaps from Nick Mangold sooner than later.

"I will say this… I know this: He's way ahead of the pace of a normal rookie," Mornhinweg told The NY Daily News at the end of the team's offseason program. "Guys that are quite skilled sometimes get away with some mechanical (flaws) in a game. They're just so good athletically that they get away with them for a period of time and then they get better and better and better and better."

Mornhinweg added that he thinks Smith is "close to being able to get into a game and function at a high level."

Smith opted to steer clear of Sanchez's annual "Jets West" camp unlike most of Gang Green's notable skill position players, instead training in Florida and absorbing Mornhinweg's playbook on his own.

The preseason games should be interesting.

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