Geno Smith's season is exposing huge oversight by Seaside Joe
Seaside Joe 1340: "Shameful, embarrassing, appalling" - Seaside Joe
I was once told by Jeff Schaffer, creator of The League FXX, that writing for that show required learning how to replace restricted words (F, S, MF, etc.) with commonplace words that could sound like swears. And that process opened up a whole avenue for creativity that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. I have also found it to be incredibly difficult, but what greater joy in life for a writer than wordplay?
Thinking back on my year of writing about the Seahawks’ post-trade search for a Russell Wilson replacement at quarterback, I could only think of a few choice words for myself. I wanted to start this article off by using the f-word but then my memory of Jeff’s advice comes back to me and I’m inspired to try and be better. I also know that many of you don’t care for cuss words, in your sportswriting or in your life in general, so there’s an added bonus of not upsetting any of my amazing and generous readers.
However, I read back tweets like this one and I can’t help but want to scream my feelings of shame by using the f-word like Satan shouting insults to the high heavens.
“Geno Smith* or Drew Lock? Drew Lock”
Instead of using the f-word, how about a replacement cuss instead? I’ve got an idea….
*NFC Offensive Player of the Month Geno Smith
Geno lockin’ Smith took home another award on Thursday, being named as the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. Already a winner of NFC Offensive Player of the Week once this season, Geno is the frontrunner for Comeback Player of the Year, the NFC Pro Bowl roster, and he’s certainly in the conversation for MVP.
I think one of the major issues working against Wilson winning MVP, or even getting a vote, was that there was never a groundswell of support for him outside of Seattle. Cam Newton had a huge fanbase. Lamar Jackson had a huge fanbase. But when I would try to make an argument for Wilson, especially in 2015 when him and Newton had remarkably similar campaigns, fans of other teams had no comprehension of him as an MVP-worthy player.
Or at least, they didn’t want to see it that way. Geno Smith, on the other hand, is growing a large fanbase and doing it quickly.
Among quarterbacks with at least three starts in October, Geno’s 111.7 passer rating ranked second (behind Joe Burrow), his nine touchdowns were third (behind Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen/ but Smith had one interception and both of those players had four), his adjusted yards per attempt ranked first, and his completion percentage (69.4) ranked fourth. In addition, Geno rushed for 143 yards (5.7 YPC) and a touchdown as the Seahawks went 4-1 in the month of October.
How locking dumb would you have to be to think that Pete Carroll was punting the position for a year when he decided to hold a competition between Geno and Drew Lock?
If you see it fit to forgive me for these transgressions, please subscribe to Seaside Joe and tell a friend about SeasideJoe.com:
When we saw Geno replace Wilson for 3.5 games in 2021, I thought he looked pretty stiff and unimpressive. It seemed like nothing was effortless for him. The numbers were passable, especially against the Steelers and Jaguars. Smith completed 69% of his throws and only had one interception, but he was also sacked 13 times and he lost way too many yards on those plays—more than any quarterback should lose.
And the Jaguars were, as usual, the worst team in the league—the only Geno game in which the offense scored more than one touchdown.
Take that recent past with his preseason outcomes and I didn’t see any reason to change position on Geno’s outlook. It felt like Geno supporters wouldn’t listen to reason, made excuses for the number of punts and negative drives, and they couldn’t address the lack of a necessary downfield passing attack when he was at the helm. It’s not like he was even trying and failing; Shane Waldron didn’t even seem to want to open those plays to him.
Saying that “Geno Smith is a backup quarterback” didn’t feel naughty to me. It felt 100% accurate and defensible. Maybe it’s about time I get off my schneider and admit my mistake in the Geno evaluation.
Since the reported “opening up of the entire offense to Geno” in Week 3, Smith has been a bonafide top-10 quarterback for the present season. It helps that Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, and Wilson have been so bad. It doesn’t hurt that Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray dont’t seem to be playing their best football and that Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields haven’t made the development strides expected of them.
But my evaluation of Geno or Lock as potential top-20 quarterbacks this season was obviously a lowball. There aren’t 10 quarterbacks playing better than Geno. Are there even five?
I still believe there’s absolutely no downside to being patient with Geno’s pending free agency and upcoming contract negotiation. The franchise tag is there specifically for these types of situations and Geno seems to be using that team-first mentality to fuel his success. He’s also not going to roll over and accept the league minimum after waiting seven years for his second chance to prove himself if he continues at this rate. I wouldn’t lockin’ blame him.
I even wrote that the Seahawks would probably cut Geno if he didn’t win the starting gig. Lock me up and throw away the key. Lock me up, fam.
I guess that still could have been true, but at this point it doesn’t seem like Geno Smith playing that poorly was ever in the cards. I keep thinking about the fact that Geno’s first contract with Seattle this year was rejected by the NFL. I keep thinking about Drew Lock testing positive for COVID-19 days before he was set to start against the Bears and feeling like there’s more to the story that we will never be told.
I can’t get away from how destinirific this whole season has been for Geno Smith. Yet I couldn’t see the truth through the trees, even as others tried to warn me that maybe Geno was actually good enough to start for real.
I wrote that Pete Carroll’s positive comments on Smith should be “taken with a Geno salt” and that life is better without arguing over the merits of Geno vs. Lock because both could be equally bad. These were two of my most popular articles of the offseason.
I continue to wonder what the offense and the season would have looked like if
Lock—sorry, Drew—had been named the starter instead. I keep thinking that Geno’s success means that Drew is practically a must-keep as his backup. If Pete could unearth Geno and Waldron could set him up for this level of success, after the Seahawks got a decade of mostly immaculate play from Wilson, what could possibly be in store for Drew’s reclamation story?
And that also wouldn’t prevent me from drafting Grayson McCall with a pick two rounds higher than any other GM was considering, giving Seattle a stable of quarterbacks that is a hundred times more powerful than anyone would have guessed Geno-Lock-McCall could have been two months ago.
I would love to be proven right. I’m willing to be proven wrong.
It’s funny that Kenneth Walker III also won an award on Thursday, being named as the Offensive Rookie of the Month for October. That’s actually something that I did see coming, as opposed to so many of my Seahawks media rivals, but you won’t see them admitting fault like I’m doing today. Does that mean that they don’t update, renew, and alter their beliefs and methods, even in the face of being proven unequivocally wrong? (Sidenote: The AFC Offensive Player of the Month was also a running back. Three offensive awards, two running backs. Hmmm.)
I have no such fears.
Thirdly, Tariq Woolen was named the Defensive Rookie of the Month, giving the Seahawks yet another reason to celebrate. It seems like every week recently has been a celebration and I’d rather be cheering along with you than worrying about whether or not the present Seahawks make the Past-Me look stupid because of something stupid I wrote or said.
I thought Geno Smith would lose to Drew Lock. Geno didn’t give a Lock.
We’ll I was wrong about Geno too. I thought the Hawks might get a bit of an improved Lock in the best case. If he sucked, we’ll we’d get a qb next year.
The only person I know that has been on Team Geno from day 1 is….my wife. A 60+ year old woman stated to me in LAST YEAR’s preseason that she thought Geno was a better qb than Wilson and he should be starting. She reminds me of that at least a couple of times each game.
I think I’ll ask her to pick up a Powerball ticket in the next day or two. ;-)
Great article. I was also on the side of Lock as I thought the upside was bigger. Happy to take the L. But I would also say that I quickly changed my opinion and saw the potential in Geno prior to the season and especially after week 1. So I'll take a W there.
The thing that cracks me up about Lock is that the same people that told us that Russell couldn't play in the NFL because of his height, are the same people that told us Geno sucks, and are now the same people that know that Lock sucks. How do these people not get it yet is amazing?
Pete knows QBs better than anyone. And he says Lock is right there. I believe him but we will know for sure this offseason.