Jets’ Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said that Smith is “way ahead of the pace of a normal rookie."
“I think Geno’s close,” Mornhinweg said. “I don’t think he’s there yet. But he’s close to being able to get into a game and function at a high level. So our whole challenge – and his challenge – is that first preseason game.”
That first preseason game is against the Lions on August 9.
Smith has expressed confidence in winning the job.
“I feel like I have a great shot,” he said.
“I did a pretty good job overall just adapting to the [Jets’] system and playbook and felt very comfortable with it by the end of OTAs and mandatory [minicamp],” continued Smith.
Originally, Quarterbacks Coach David Lee believed that Smith’s flaws included conveying plays while in the huddle, learning snap counts and recognizing “hot” reads.
"His system at West Virginia, there’s no similarities there whatsoever," Lee said back in June. Because of all these changes, he said that Smith had been "struggling with the basic things."
Now, Lee seems to believe that Smith has the possibility to be the starter against the Buccaneers on September 8.
In the end, though, everyone seems to think that whether or not Smith starts is ultimately up to Smith.
"That's up to Geno. It's really that simple," Mornhinweg said.
According to Conor Orr's article about Smith and his daily routine this spring, Morhinweg has been closely working with Smith whenever possible. Morhinweg would have a good read from their close work together on whether or not Geno could do it, so I trust his assessment. As Morhinweg states, he's got ground to cover, but he's doing well for a rookie and it will come down to whether Geno can make a leap in his progress.