Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kellen Winslow opening it up for Geno Smith


Kellen Winslow was Geno Smith's go-to guy in the rookie signal-caller's NFL debut.

Smith targeted Winslow eight times in the New York Jets' season-opening win, completing seven passes to the veteran tight end for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Winslow has caught just three passes for 16 yards since, but his impact on the field has been just important. Maybe even more important.

"I think it has opened it up," Smith told reporters Thursday. "You can see teams definitely paying a little bit more attention to him."

That diversion of attention has paved the way for Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley to run free. While Winslow went without a catch last week in a victory over the Buffalo Bills, Holmes and Hill caught long touchdown passes and Kerley was a force in the middle of the field.

"I think on the touchdown to Stephen Hill, I believe, you’ll see him, the outside linebacker hits him, the inside linebacker hits him and the safety sits on him, and that allows Stephen to go 1-on-1," Jets coach Rex Ryan said after the game. "So I think those are some things that are unselfish.

"Run the route as hard as you can. He drew the attention of guys. That was the plan of the route, and then we were able to make the big play down the field."

Smith thinks things will turn back in Winslow's favor -- from an on-paper standpoint -- soon enough.

"Kellen’s got to stay patient, just continue to work his routes," Smith said. "The time will come and his matchups will come.

"Like I said, I don’t have a favorite receiver. More so, I’m just trying to go out there and read the defense and take what they give me and hit the open man. As long as those guys continue to run good routes and stay patient, the ball will come their way and they’ll be rewarded."

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily