While the front office is still invested in its second-round pick and wants to know whether he can be the future franchise quarterback, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said on NFL GameDay First that there is a fear that coaches might have stunted Smith's growth by dictating the quarterback's reads.
"Usually a quarterback is able to drop back, go through his reads then deliver the ball. I am told that Geno Smith was informed of his reads, told, 'You need to throw the ball here on certain plays,'" Rapoport said. "The most egregious example came on an interception on a pass intended for Percy Harvin that Stephon Gilmore, the Bills corner, picked off. Smith was told; 'This is where you need to throw the ball.' And obviously, for a quarterback who is now taking a breather last game and this game, may have hurt his development a little bit."
It's certainly an indictment on Smith's growth that coaches didn't trust him enough to make the proper reads. However, it's an even bigger indictment on a coaching staff that would insist on predetermining reads and throws pre-snap. The approach also partially explains why Smith seemed to regress this season.
Rex Ryan and his staff appear on the way out after an 1-8 start, and, while we love Ryan as a defensive play-caller, he has never quite gotten the offensive side figured out.