Schlereth: How Seahawks are setting Geno Smith up to sustain this success

Nov 3, 2022, 9:36 AM
Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and Geno Smith talk while against the New York Giants at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are feeling really good heading into a Week 9 clash with the Arizona Cardinals as they’ve won three games in a row, are in first place in the NFC West and have one of the best and hottest quarterbacks in football under center in Geno Smith.

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Smith has been one of the top storylines in the NFL this season as he was a longtime backup before winning the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job this offseason. Many thought Smith and the Hawks would struggle and that the team may even be tanking for a high draft pick.

But instead, Smith leads all quarterbacks in completion percentage and is in the top 10 in passing yards and touchdowns.

So is this who Smith really is? Can he keep up this level of play? Former NFL offensive lineman and current NFL commentator Mark Schlereth thinks so.

“Listen, there’s no reason based upon the way they’re playing and the way he’s playing that he can’t sustain it,” Schlereth told Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Wyman and Bob on Tuesday.

And it goes beyond Smith’s play – which Schlereth thinks has been great. He thinks head coach Pete Carroll is setting Smith up to succeed in a big way.

“One thing I know about Pete, you’re gonna run the ball, you’re gonna set up your play-action you’re gonna get predictable defenses,” he said. “… When you run the ball exceptionally well, you’re gonna play some type of post-safety defense, right? Meaning you’re gonna play a single-high safety because you’ve gotta get eight guys in the box and you’ve got to stop that run – you’ve got to be committed to that. Well, you get predictable looks. Like anything vertical on outside in that look you’re gonna get man coverage … So now we’re creating pre-snap predictability for our quarterback because we’re so good at something.”

That means the Seahawks have a true identity on offense, Schlereth said, and he thinks Carroll has done as good of a job as any coach in the NFL this year.

As far as Smith is concerned, Schlereth said the Seahawks QB is playing great football, and that people need to realize that.

“I think that the thing that we tend to forget – and I’m guilty of this, too – you see what he was with the Jets in a dysfunctional organization and situation, and you stamp them and say, ‘There he is.’ Well, he has been a student, he has been preparing, he has been working,” he said. “He throws the ball exceptionally well. I mean, the dude just unleashes. He uncorks it, he spins it tight, so you can even be late with a few throws and it still cuts through and gets there.”

Very rarely do you see a player have such a late-career turnaround, especially at quarterback. Schlereth played with someone who wound up doing that in Rich Gannon, an NFL journeyman who wound up winning NFL MVP at 37 years old while with the Raiders.

“He stuck with it, learned the game and got some opportunities and then became MVP. So it can be done,” Schlereth said. “And there’s no reason for me to think that Geno Smith can’t continue to play at this level.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.

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