CORTLAND – On paper, Geno Smith’s stats against the Lions weren’t so bad: 6-for-7 for 47 yards. No touchdowns and, much to the delight of Jets fans, no interceptions.
The rookie quarterback’s first NFL performance, however, was a tad underwhelming. But offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg shouldered some of the responsibility for Smith’s outing.
“A couple of those were me,” he said, explaining that he was trying to get a certain number of calls/reps for various position players with Smith at quarterback.
“For instance, I wanted to play [fullback] Tommy [Bohanon] quite a little bit, I wanted to see just exactly where he’s at,” said Mornhinweg. “Wanted to get Kellen [Winslow] at least one ball, I wanted to get Stephen [Hill] on a certain thing, on and on and on and on. I wanted to see each guard pull one way. So in doing that, that was my responsibility.
“There was one series where I didn’t just let Geno play. We were trying to get a couple of things accomplished that way. So it was not much of an evaluation on Geno. You were able to see him drop back and throw the ball a couple times, certainly. But we had seen that in practice. And then he got nicked with the ankle…. And then we go with [third-string quarterback] Greg [McElroy].”