How is Seahawks’ Geno Smith playing? K.J. Wright shares what he sees

Nov 29, 2023, 1:02 PM

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks looks on against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 23, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Things have not gone smoothly for the Seattle Seahawks in recent weeks, particularly on offense.

Preview: Seattle Seahawks look to rebound in key NFC matchup at Dallas

The Hawks were able to rebound from a 37-3 thumping in Baltimore by beating Washington 29-26, but they fell 17-16 to the Los Angeles Rams in a game they should have won before getting trounced 31-13 on Thanksgiving by San Francisco in a game where Seattle didn’t score a touchdown on offense.

Quarterback Geno Smith’s numbers have taken a dip during this recent stretch, and for the season in general. After leading the NFL in completion percentage and tossing 30 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, Smith has 12 touchdowns to eight interceptions through 11 games this year.

During his weekly Seattle Sports show on Tuesday, former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright broke down what he’s seeing from Smith this season.

“He has the ball in his hands, he’s the decision-maker and he’s not executing. He’s not executing at a high level,” Wright told Brock and Salk. “He’s not the same guy we saw last year. He’s looking hesitant, he’s looking confused.”

Wright said Smith’s first play against the 49ers last week, which looked broken from the start and resulted in a 1-yard scramble, “spoke mentally to me.”

“How do you mess up the first play of the game? This is the first 15 (scripted plays). This is what you go over, with your play-caller before you go out on the football field,” Wright said. “Second-guessing himself, turnovers. It’s not fun to watch. It’s not fun to watch at all. To say he’s declining? It’s just not pretty.”

When discussing why Smith is playing worse or potentially regressing, co-host Mike Salk said he thinks that people who watch the Seahawks may be “realizing a lot of the inconsistency” that Smith brings to the table.

“He’s better than he was when he was in New York. He’s better than he was when he was young,” he said. “… He’s better than that. But are we seeing that the inconsistency of Geno Smith is maybe not something that you can build around long term as a quarterback for a successful team?”

Replied Wright, “And if you would have asked me that last year, I would have said, ‘this is a guy we can build around.'”

But the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately?’ business, Wright said.

“This is ‘what do we see in the foreseeable future with you at the quarterback position?'” he said. “And we all knew coming into the season that this is a one-year contract.”

Smith signed a contract that, on the surface, was for three years and $75 million. But, as Wright pointed out, it’s effectively a one-year contract for $27.5 million. The Seahawks can get out of the deal rather easily after this season. You can check out Spotrac’s full breakdown of Smith’s deal here.

“We all knew this is a one-year opportunity. You’ve got one shot to prove yourself because his history speaks volume,” Wright said. “His history says ‘you’re a backup, you struggle.’ So if you don’t get this thing right, people have a short-term memory. No one cares about the Pro Bowl, no one cares about the Comeback Player of the Year (award), it’s what have you done for me now and what can we do going forward? And he’s not showing on a consistent basis that I am the guy to lead this franchise for the next two to three years.”

Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard asked Wright to tell him about Smith’s game through his “linebacker eyes.”

“If I’m playing linebacker against Geno Smith, what I’m seeing is someone that’s second-guessing themselves, someone that’s not as confident in the game plan,” Wright said. “And I’m looking at someone that if I just put some pressure on him, he’ll retreat backwards for some strange reason, so let’s make sure we take away DK Metcalf make someone else beat us. And if I’m facing this Seahawks offense, I’m pretty happy as a linebacker because I know they won’t stay committed to the run, I know they won’t utilize any of their tight ends and it’s not going to be a complex run game, so I’m having a field day if I’m a linebacker.”

Listen to this week’s K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Salk: Is narrative of Seahawks and Russell Wilson being recrafted?
• Bumpus: A reality about Seattle Seahawks to come to terms with
• ‘Didn’t get rolling’: Pete Carroll on Seahawks’ offensive struggles
• The Next Day: Seahawks still yet to close gap on 49ers

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