Gruden: 'I've never seen this play. What is that?'
- by Zach Barnett 1 year ago
Jon Gruden is back, this time with former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Smith started off last season perfectly, firing 25 touchdown passes before his first interception. When Smith was perfect, West Virginia won - rising to the No. 5 spot in the polls. When Smith stopped being perfect, West Virginia stopped winning. Smith finished the season with 42 touchdown passes against only six interceptions, and the Mountaineers finished 7-6 after a 5-0 start.
Smith's conversation opens with Gruden mirroring the entire NFL's fascination with Smith - they don't know exactly what he is, but they know he's good. It's clear Gruden wasn't a West Virginia season-ticket holder (or he's just trying to get inside Smith's head) because he starts off asking if Smith is a read-option quarterback. Smith's stats from the last two seasons (1,044 passes, 122 rushes) clearly answer that question, but Smith says it best in his own words, "I consider myself a quarterback who's got the ability to win games above the neck. My athletic abilities, that just comes with the package...I extend plays more than I just go out there and run around like a chicken with its head cut off."
The pair then examines film from the 2012 Orange Bowl, which Gruden called for ESPN, and the most famous play from that bowl season. "If you're a poor defensive coach, goodness gracious there's a lot going on. I've never seen this one before. What is that?" Smith, "That's a pass."
Then Smith heads to the white board to draw a doodle of Gruden's face. That about sums it up.