Huard: A QB’s view of why Seahawks’ Geno Smith has been so good

Oct 25, 2022, 11:17 AM

Seahawks Geno Smith...

Seahawks QB Geno Smith throws on the run in front of the Chargers' Khalil Mack at SoFi Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The only thing perhaps more surprising than the Seahawks sitting in first place in the NFC West through seven games is the play of their quarterback.

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Nobody was expecting Geno Smith to be a revelation in his first opportunity as a full-time starter since 2014, but he’s leading the NFL in completion percentage with 74.5% and is third in passer rating behind only Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen.

Brock Huard, a former NFL quarterback who is now a football analyst for FOX and co-host of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, has a pretty simple but important observation about Smith that he shared Monday.

“You know what we’ve not talked about? I don’t think we have once said the word ‘fundamentals.’ I don’t think we have once talked about how good his fundamentals are,” Huard said to Mike Salk during their daily Blue 88 segment on Brock and Salk.

Huard went on to explain how something as basic as that can be overlooked in today’s game where things like mobility and different arm angles have become more and more valued. He used Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert as an example after the Seahawks’ defense batted down nine passes in a 37-23 win over Los Angeles on Sunday.

“Those are huge incompletions. A couple of them are (Seahawks cornerback) Tariq Woolen (making plays downfield), but the majority of them were where? The line of scrimmage. You saw it happen with (Arizona’s) Kyler Murray, as well. But Geno Smith is clean, the delivery is compact and sharp,” Huard said. “… His play-action game, his faking in the run game, he has his feet underneath him the majority of the time when he throws, (and he has an) over-the-top delivery.”

Those fundamentals are helping Smith when he needs to be mobile, too, while the younger QBs with a less fundamental approach typically have to go back to basics, according to Huard.

“He talked to (FOX analyst) Mark Sanchez about getting into two rooms: the film room and the weight room. His body looks different and stronger,” Huard said of Smith. “His base underneath him when he throws is so much better, and it’s repetitive. It’s time and again. He’s throwing on the run, and he’s getting his shoulders square and he’s throwing towards his target.

“Justin Herbert, like a lot of these young studs that get very good, Mahomes was the same way – ‘This game, oh, I got it man. I can sling it everywhere.’ And Mahomes had to go back to school and go, ‘You know what, all these arm angles and all this stuff? Actually, there’s an incompletion, there’s an overthrow, there’s a sail, there’s some stuff that’s not as clean. Let me go back and clean it up.’ (Packers QB) Aaron Rodgers, when I met with him a couple years ago (when I was calling) NFL games – ‘Yeah, I had to go back to basics. I had to go back and squat and lift and get my base underneath me.’ Geno Smith right now (is providing) teaching tape for some of the fundamental soundness in his game.”

You can listen to the full conversation in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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