Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pats conscious of rushing Geno a certain way


Geno Smith isn't necessarily a running quarterback, but he's a quarterback who can run.

The New York Jets periodically run the read-option with Smith, and with some success, but it's what the rookie signal-caller does with his feet on passing-play drop backs that makes him more dangerous.

Smith is selective in when he chooses to take off for salvaged yards or throw the ball away. Through six games, he only has 22 rushes to his name, but five have been for first downs, and in opportune moments.

For New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich, containing Smith will take discipline.

"He can see that if I get too far up the field, and step up in run," Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich said Thursday, via "I have to just make sure that he doesn't have a big open area to step up into and run. I'm just a little more conscious in my pass-rush lanes and just being tighter in everything that I do.

"Again, it's kind of ingrained in your head how to rush those types of guys."

As important as it is to keep Smith from moving the chains with his legs, the Patriots will also try to keep him in the pocket as often as possible. It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that it's much easier to sack Smith when he's inside a collapsed pocket as opposed to wheeling outside the hash marks and keeping plays alive.

"We just have to make sure a guy like that doesn't hurt you with his legs as far as extending a play," Ninkovich said. "Whenever the receivers can look back and see that their quarterback is out of the pocket, they just kind of scramble and try to get open so at the defensive end position, it's your job to keep him in the pocket and not let him get out of the pocket and run for a first down or throw it for a deep pass."

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