Schlereth: What could be different for Geno in Year 2 as Seahawks’ starter

Aug 8, 2023, 1:53 PM

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Seahawks QB Geno Smith throws under pressure against Chiefs DE Carlos Dunlap on Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The Seattle Seahawks were one of the NFL’s best stories last year, going 9-8 and making the playoffs in a season that many thought was going to be the first of a rebuild.

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A big reason for the team’s success was the play of Geno Smith at quarterback.

Smith, a longtime NFL backup, shined in his first year as the Seahawks’ starter, finishing top-10 in the NFL in yards and touchdowns and leading the league in completion percentage. Smith made his first Pro Bowl and signed a three-year contract to stay in Seattle this past offseason.

So what’s next for Smith after his surprising 2022 campaign?

Longtime NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth, a FOX Sports NFL analyst and a host at Denver Sports, joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob live at Seahawks training camp on Monday to talk about Smith.

“Beyond Rich Gannon, who can you name off the top of your head that was a journeyman and then he hit Year 10 and all of a sudden became All-Pro? I mean, it’s incredible,” Schlereth said.

Gannon has been a common comparison for Smith as Gannon was a longtime backup before shining late in his career. He found success in his 30s with the Raiders and was the 2002 NFL MVP while leading Oakland to a Super Bowl appearance.

As for Smith, Schlereth said there was plenty to like about what he did last year that should carry over into this upcoming season.

“I think there are a lot of things that you look at with Geno, just the offense he was in, the way they operated, the way they run the ball, there’s a lot of things to like about what (head coach) Pete Carroll is going to demand out of the offense and out of Shane Waldron the (offensive) coordinator,” Schlereth said. “But I think the one thing having a bunch of conversations with Pete about Geno is, I think even they were surprised to a degree (by) the arm talent, his ability to spin it – like he’s got a hose now and he can flat spin it and he can throw it anywhere on the football field. I think he’s got a lot better arm talent than I think anybody really kind of even realized. He’s got great touch on the football.”

So what about Smith growing from last year to this upcoming season? Schlereth actually talked to Smith about thatthis week.

“I just had a conversation with him today just about kind of Year 1 to Year 2 and what’s been different? And he’s just like, ‘more command,'” Schlereth said. “Obviously he thought he played pretty well last year in camp but you’re starting where you were last year. You’re starting more as a not a finished product, but you’re starting in a more advanced position and just having a greater command.”

That type of command and advanced feel for the offense, Schlereth said, can open up a lot of things for both Smith and the offense as a whole.

“This is where you start to stack concepts where you’re like, ‘this was our offense, and now we’re pretty good with where we were or what we were doing, and now can we expand? Can we create more volume? Can we can we grow our menu, so to speak, of our offensive plays?” Schlereth said. “And then you just start to understand kind of on a on a deeper level how things tie together and why things are done the way they’re done. And when that starts happening for you as an offensive player, I just think you start to have just an overall better kind of global perspective on what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re trying to attack defenses.”

Listen to Schlereth’s conversation with Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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