Geno Smith on Hawks’ new-look offense: ‘Great things coming for us’

May 22, 2024, 7:03 PM | Updated: May 23, 2024, 9:36 am

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith Titans 2023...

Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks looks to pass against the Titans in 2023. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

At this point in his career, learning a new offense certainly isn’t a new thing for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith.

Salk’s Observations: What we saw at Seahawks’ first open OTA practice

As he prepares for his 12th season in the NFL and likely his third as Seattle’s starting QB, the 33-year-old Smith is getting set to play under his seventh different offensive coordinator. The new man in charge is Ryan Grubb, who came across town to join first-year head coach Mike Macdonald’s staff after a success-filled two-year run as the UW Huskies’ offensive coordinator.

The Seahawks are still in the early stages of installing their new offense, but Smith already feels like Grubb’s system is a good match for his skill set.

“I feel like I’m a dropback passer, and I feel like this is a dropback offense – an offense that’s gonna spread the ball around (and) trust the quarterbacks to make the right decisions pre- and post-snap,” Smith said Wednesday after Seattle’s second OTA practice. “And I feel like that’s something that I’m really good at.

“I think Grubb has a great system. It demands a lot from the quarterback pre- and post-snap, and he has a great way of giving us some answers. And so the thing we have to do is just be really disciplined with all of our reads, reading our keys, and then obviously getting out there and making the plays when they come about.”

During his time at UW, Grubb oversaw one of the most prolific offenses in college football. Led by Heisman Trophy runner-up quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and a trio of top-100 NFL Draft picks at receiver, the Huskies carved up opposing defenses on their way to the College Football Playoff national championship game.

With the Seahawks, Grubb will be tasked with elevating an offense that dropped from 10th in the league in scoring in 2022 to 17th in 2023. A slew of injuries along the offensive line undoubtedly played a major role in the decline last season, but there’s hope that Grubb’s scheme can be a better match for Smith and the talented receiving trio of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

“He’s a really detail-oriented guy,” Macdonald said of Grubb. “He knows exactly what he’s looking for. He’s very precise. As a team, we want clarity in everything we’re doing. We want the guys to know exactly what the expectations are, exactly what’s being asked of them, and he has that. He’s a very clear communicator.”

Smith feels good about where the offense currently stands in the installation process. He said he’s spent a lot of time studying and having meetings with the various offensive position groups.

“I feel like we’re in a really good spot, honestly,” Smith said. “I feel like personally, I have a really good grasp of the offense. I know there’s still things that I have to learn, but from the installs that we’ve done, really sharp with those things.

“I think there’s gonna be great things coming for us,” he added. “… Grubb’s doing a great job, and it’s our job to make the plays come alive and make it all look good.”

Seahawks challenging Geno

After spending six consecutive seasons as an NFL backup, Smith resurrected his career in Seattle with a breakout 2022 campaign. Smith received AP Comeback Player of the Year honors that season after finishing seventh in ESPN’s QBR metric, leading the NFL in completion rate and throwing for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Smith’s stats declined last year while playing behind an injury-depleted offensive line and missing two games himself with a groin injury. He fell to 14th in QBR, and his completion rate dropped five percentage points as he threw for 3,624 yards, 20 TDs and nine interceptions. However, he closed the year strong, posting a league-best 81.4 QBR over the final six weeks of the season.

What are Macdonald’s impressions of Smith after getting a chance to work with him?

“He’s highly competitive,” Macdonald said. “I love how Geno works. We’re pushing him to take the next step as a football player and as a leader, and I think he’s answering the call. Really excited about Geno, just getting to know him. Just really such a respect for how hard this man works at his craft.”

Geno, Howell building rapport

After acquiring 23-year-old quarterback Sam Howell in a trade with the Washington Commanders in March, the Seahawks now have two quarterbacks on their roster who were full-time starters last year. Howell, a fifth-round draft pick in 2022, started all 17 games for the Commanders last season. He finished 24th in QBR while throwing for 3,946 yards, 21 TDs and 21 interceptions.

Smith said he and Howell have been building a rapport. They were among approximately 15 offensive players on the Seahawks who took an offseason trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

“We’ve been hanging out, we went to Cabo, we got some golf in, developing our relationship,” Smith said. “Sam’s a really, really talented young player. He’s played a lot of football (for being) that young. He put a lot of great things on tape. And I think for me, the whole starter-backup thing, I don’t ever wrap my mind around it. The quarterback group has gotta be a collective unit. Whoever goes in the game has gotta have the support of the other guy. So for me, it’s always about us learning and working together and pushing each other together, and that can only provide us with an excellent chance to get better.”

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• How Byron Murphy II has advantage over past Seahawks 1st-rounders
• Huard: The Seahawks position group most thrilled by new schemes
• Ranked: Who are Seattle Seahawks’ five most irreplaceable players?
• What Big Ray wants to see out of Seahawks LT Charles Cross
• Did schedule makers make it easy for Seattle Seahawks? Insider explains

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