Regardless of your opinion as to why, I think we should all be able to agree that Geno Smith has hit a rough patch. Chalk it up to pass protection, playcalling, injuries, strength of schedule, something else entirely, or a combination of all of the above; no matter the reason, the entire offense needs to show that they can perform to a higher standard, to put it bluntly. Fair or not, a lot of criticism typically falls on the signal caller when an offense falters, and particularly as the turnovers start to accumulate. Fortunately, the team and coaching staff are both aware of and working to find solutions. According to Gregg Bell of the News Tribune, Pete Carroll identified getting the ball out on schedule as a particular focus for the upcoming game, as well as a big area of growth for Geno in the long-run. Quotes can be read below.
It’s urgent on top of urgent for Geno Smith. The Seahawks need their quarterback to rebound, right now, from getting dumped six times and turning the ball over again in his last game, the team’s 31-13 thrashing by San Francisco on Thanksgiving.
Smith also can’t wait any more to throw his passes. His coach, who usually doesn’t single out players for needing to do something specific to better give the Seahawks (6-5) a chance to win, did just that this week. Pete Carroll was talking about Smith on Sunday when he said: “There are always things he can do better. It’s just reading more quickly and get the ball out more readily, so we can avoid the (pass) rush. Of all of the things in particular like this week, we need to get the ball out. The ball has got to get out of his hands so that we don’t give the rusher a chance. “If there’s anything in particular, that’s what I’m hoping Geno (Smith) can find his keys, his reads, and get the ball out ahead of the rush. “That’s easier said than done.”
To his credit, Geno Smith unsurprisingly owned up to the criticism. He even took the opportunity to speak to the talent on the roster. Bell quoted him in the same article as saying the following.
“And it starts with me, of course. I’ve got to be better, overall. So, shoot, man, I’m working my tail off to try to get that done. “But we know what we have inside this locker room. It doesn’t always show up every single play and every single week. And that’s something we’ve got to work on and be better at.”
On top of this, Bell also detailed in another piece how Shane Waldron is clearly in the spotlight, as well, for his floundering offense. Pete Carroll made reference to this in a recent press conference, even going so far as to identify play calling and personnel utilization as key issues without directly name dropping Waldron. Reading between the lines in the article above, I get the sense that we may start to see a shift in the offensive identity, particularly since this schedule is going to repeatedly test this team for the rest of the year. If Seattle wants to pick up a season-defining win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, the offense is going to need to prove that it can get in sync and stay in sync. Geno Smith has all the physical tools to run this system, and I don’t doubt his intangibles either (just see the quote above, he knows he needs to be better and he believes in the team)... but putting it all together is proving to be tougher than it initially looked.