Huard: Where Seahawks QB Geno Smith can grow the most in 2023

Feb 7, 2023, 11:52 AM
Seahawks QB Geno Smith...
Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks reacts at the line of scrimmage against the San Francisco 49ers on January 14, 2023. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Geno Smith having a breakout Pro Bowl season for the Seahawks in 2022 was something few saw coming.

ESPN’s Riddick: Gap between Seahawks’ Geno, Lock is ‘Grand Canyon-esque’

But that’s indeed what happened as Smith, 32, turned in the best season of his career after serving as a backup for the past seven seasons and he wound up leading the Seahawsk to a 9-8 record and a playoff berth.

While it’s not a sure thing Smith will be back in Seattle next year because he’s a pending free agent, it seems likely that the QB-team pairing will continue as Smith said recently “it’s looking very good” that the two sides come to an agreement on a new contract.

If that’s the case and Smith is back with the Seahawks in 2023, where can he improve? That’s the question former NFL quarterback Brock Huard tackled on Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

“Well we know this – (Smith set a) franchise record in yards, franchise record in completion percentage, franchise records in attempts and completions. Franchise records,” he said. “We know across the league (Smith was) top-five in QB rating, top-five in touchdown passes.”

Smith’s final stat line from 2022 saw him complete 69.8% of his passes for 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns. But what stat negatively stands out?

“You know where he was in a tie for third-worst in the league? …  Sacks,” Huard said, pointing to Smith’s 46 sacks on the year.

“Now that does not all fall on the quarterback. But a lot of it does. You are kind of the peanut butter to the jelly,” Huard said. “And you can get rid of the football at times. We know (former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson) struggles with that and he’s always been sacked a lot. Russ and (Bears quarterback Justin Fields each took) 55 sacks. Next on that list? (Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins) and Geno at 46.”

Huard explained what will likely happen with Smith later in the offseason.

“That’s the area that when he sits down with (offensive coordinator) Shane Waldron – and we’ll see if Dave Canales is still his QB coach – and they watch in April when they get back in the building together, ‘Let’s walk through all 46 of these. How many of them were on you? How many of them could you have changed the protection? How many of them could you have gotten the ball out? How many of them could you have slid up in the pocket instead of bailing out? How many of those 46 (were on you)?'” Huard said. “That’s a humbling tape. I watched that tape one time. That’s a hard tape to watch, because you do realize pretty quickly, ‘Yeah, there’s a lot of those that are on me. I just need to get rid of the ball and don’t give them that negative play.’

“I think that is the area where the game can slow down protection-wise, communication-wise, ‘live to play another day’-wise. That’s an area that he can grow the most.”

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

How much do Seahawks need to add a true No. 3 WR to offense?

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Seahawks Draft Profile Tuli Tuipulotu...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: Standout USC DL Tuli Tuipulotu fits Seahawks’ scheme

In his latest draft profile, Brock Huard dives into All-American USC DL Tuli Tuipulotu and why he could be a fit for the Seahawks.
1 day ago
Seahawks Nick Herbig...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: The late-round ‘monster’ Wisconsin LB the Seahawks should draft

Brock Huard is a big fan of Wisconsin LB/edge rusher Nick Herbig, and he thinks Herbig could be a great late-round pick for the Seahawks.
2 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Brock & Salk: The most important developments from Mariners’ opener

A lot happened during the Mariners' opening day win over the Guardians. Brock & Salk break down the three biggest developments from the game.
2 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith Drew Lock...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: What to make of Seahawks’ apparent interest in top draft QBs

The Seahawks have been front and center at pro days for three of the top quarterback draft prospects. Brock Huard shares his read on that.
3 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez Jarred Kelenic...
Mike Salk

Salk: Mariners have a chance to go farther than any team in their history

this year should feel different for every Mariners fan, writes Mike Salk, because this could be the best Mariners team of all-time.
3 days ago
Seahawks draft Siaki Ika...
Brandon Gustafson

The massive ‘man eater’ Baylor nose tackle Seahawks could draft

The Seahawks need help on the defensive line, and big Baylor defensive tackle Siaki Ika could be an answer in the second round.
4 days ago
Huard: Where Seahawks QB Geno Smith can grow the most in 2023