In the last six games of the 2014 season, Geno Smith threw six touchdown passes to only three interceptions for the Jets. It was one of the more productive snippets of his career.
Trying to recapture that was one of the reasons he signed with the Giants this offseason. Their West Coast offense, it turns out, is very similar to the one Marty Mornhinweg used during the first two years of Smith’s career with the Jets.
“If you go back and you look at 2014, which was my last year in the West Coast, my last eight games I think I played great and I finally got a handle on it,” he said on Tuesday at the United Way of New York City’s 24th annual Gridiron Gala. “I didn’t forget that and I wanted to be in that.”
His last game in 2014 was one of the best of his career. He threw three touchdowns, no interceptions, and completed 20 of 25 passes for 358 yards in a win over the Dolphins. His passer rating in that game was 158.3.
Smith said the Giants’ offense was not a deciding factor or a priority in his decision to sign with the Giants, but it did play a role.
“It’s something that I looked into, something I wanted to be a part of, a West Coast system,” he said. “It’s learning a new playbook but it’s a system I’ve been in before with Marty so just getting acclimated to things again. It’s very, very similar.”
Smith, who spoke to reporters for the first time since his cross-town jump, seemed pleased with his new home.
“It’s been fun,” he said of being a Giant. “Working hard and trying to get better. Loving the new teammates. Everything has been good.”
He’s been trying to absorb as much as he can from Eli Manning.
“Eli is a wonderful guy to learn from, a great guy to compete with,” he said. “He’s hungry, he works hard, and that’s something you love.”
And he said he’s getting along very well with Ben McAdoo.
“I really love Coach McAdoo and what they are doing,” he said. “They’re coaching me hard and we’ve been getting better… [I] love his personality. An offensive-minded head coach, that’s something I haven’t had before. I had two defensive head coaches. To have a guy like that has been great.”