Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith. I really respect everything he does.
Those of you that are familiar with him know that he has the ability to take a limited role and literally run away with the show. Of course he does what you would expect someone in his position to do , and does it very well too. However, he’s is also capable of playing other roles which may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of him, but that are are equally as important, maybe more so.
The fact is that Kevin Smith is a gifted individual who is capable of doing several different things and doing them exceedingly well – the kind of versatility that is valued quite highly amongst the Jets – being able to contribute in multiple facets of the game.
Kevin Smith would be the PERFECT addition to the New York Jets because of all he has to offer – he instantly makes the team more competitive. As I said before I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith , but if you don’t want to take my word for it – just look what he was able to do for the Detroit Lions last year ( a team which has historically missed the play offs but ironically made it this year while the Jets did not ).
Oh wait , did the title throw you off? Well , I do like that Kevin Smith too – however the one I’m talking about is a football player. A very good football player who happens to be a free agent right now. Lets discuss his very unique skill set and how they fill a very specific need for the Jets at a position where it is needed.
L.T. is gone and the Jets are in need of a 3rd down back with pass catching ability. Lets face it, we have all seen Shonn Greene catch the ball, or not. I like Greene and think he can be effective, he just doesn’t catch well.
- Kevin Smith is a very good runner in his own right with good moves and excellent vision – a former high draft pick who’s been great at times but often injured, which I have a theory on I’ll cover later.
- Punishing pass blocker , a quality that is at times lost to fans but is very important – to the Jets it’s imperative as Mark Sanchez needs solid protection in order to be effective.
- This is the most important. Smith is a great pass catcher coming out of the backfield and has the burst and the vision to make big things happen. Sanchez absolutely has to have a RB that can catch the ball and take pressure off him on third downs. This is the area that L.T. will be most greatly missed.
While the Jets have had to shy away from players like Mario Williams, Eric Winston and Stephen Tulloch for financial reasons – Smith played for an unbelievably reasonable 600,000 or 650,000 in Detroit last year – so money is no excuse not to pursue this dynamic player. Why on earth would the Jets, who desperately need a player with that particular skill set, pass on a guy who is not only outstanding but also affordable? There is only one reason I can possibly think of, in a word….. injuries.
After a promising rookie campaign he has since been slowed by a number of injuries. Last year he was out of the league until resigning with Detroit just before week 10 due to the J. Best injury and received limited snaps in his week 10 debut. I told you I had a theory about Smiths injuries – here it is: I think if Smith had been managed better by the Lions over the course of his career he could have been a star in this league.
Perhaps it is a reflection on Detroit’s strength and conditioning program that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. It certainly makes me appreciate that the Jets have one of the best. If Smiths carries had been limited, even modestly, and he had been the clear cut leader in a clear cut rotation rather than counted on to be a workhorse, I believe he could have stayed healthy. In today’s game you almost have to have more than one RB and if Smith had been used in a rotation like they do in Dallas, New Orleans or Carolina – he could have him be the one in a one – two punch. That’s how they could have maximized his potential but instead I feel they over-worked him.
Last season was the perfect example – last season was his career in a microcosm. After being signed off the street he received a few carries week 10 but in week 11 was thrown into a full work load and responded in spectacular fashion. Unfortunately, after just a few weeks he was banged up again. You don’t ease the guy in and then over work him.
As a part of a rotation in NY, with Smith being used as a 3rd down back only, he would always be fresh and therefore always be deadly to their opponents. The Jets wouldn’t have to worry about the injuries as much because they wouldn’t foolishly over work such a talented young man. Quite the opposite, they could actually get the most of his vast potential – and, might I add again, at a very reasonable rate.
I mentioned before that after being signed off the street in week 10, in week 11 he had a huge game – how huge exactly you ask? He was one of the focal points in an offense that scored 49 points and, let me tell you my friends, that ALL of Smiths many talents were on display that day. The phenominal job he did pass blocking that helped his QB throw for over 350 yards. The big runs he made and the safety outlet for his QB catching the ball – and then making big plays. I don’t discount any of the many great things he did.
In the second quarter the Lions had a 71 yard scoring drive – or rather Kevin Smith did. The entire drive consisted of two plays: a 40 yard run and a 31 yard catch and run touchdown in which he showed great wiggle, nice fluid cuts and terrific vision not to mention he followed his blocks to perfection. In an absolute shootout, with the game tied at 35, it wasn’t Stafford or Megatron that took control of that game and put it away, it was a RB who had been on his couch 2 weeks earlier that scored 2 more touchdowns including the one that sealed the win.
In all Smith had 201 total yards – 140 rushing with 2 TDs and also 61 rec with 1 rec TD. As impressive as all of this is, and make no mistake – all things considered this is pretty damn impressive, the most impressive part of all of that to me is, in particular, the blocking he did. In particular the 61 rec yards with the rec TD.
Because of what that kind of player could add to the team we have in place, and without L.T. there is certainly no question we NEED that kind of player ( and again may I point out that the guy is as absolutely affordable as an NFL player could be ) – there appears to be only one question about Kevin Smith that remains unanswered…..
“WHAT ON EARTH ARE THE JETS WAITING FOR?”
If for no more reason than to appease a restless fan base that expects results – at least perform your due dilligence on the guy and make it LOOK like you are trying. With a glaring need for a pass catching 3rd down back with pass blocking ability – not only does this move make sense – it would be absolute insanity to pass up on. A player of his caliber in our system would make that offense lethal. Imagine split back sets with Smith and McKnight on 3rd down with Holmes, Keller and ? (Edwards/Schillens/Kerley ). That would be a nightmare to defend!
At the risk of being repetitive – knowing the need the team has for a 3rd down back – I just kept watching Smiths week 11 highlights and what he was able to do. The fact that he did it with less than 2 weeks of preparation is just that much more amazing to me. Specifically his 31 yard RECEIVING touchdown. As I watched that play develop I notice several things:
- It’s play action off a fake reverse,
- after completing the fake, pressure is closing fast on the QB so he throws the screen dumping it off to Smith in the flat.
- Smith doesn’t run all out immediately, he let’s his blocks develop but never stops or breaks momentum he just patiently paces himself
- once his blocks are set he is gone, showing a tremendous burst as he got to the next level,
- he makes a few cuts making defenders miss then masterfully changes direction several times which both slowed and confused the defenders ahead of him and allowed more blocks to develop downfield in front of him
- then with another explosive burst he shot passed those defenders ahead of him and avoided the final wave as he dove into the end zone for the score.
A clear case of a player who was simply not to be denied. I’ve watched that play over and over and I appreciate it for what it was – a work of art. I imagine what that play would look like in the Jets offense and it puts a huge smile on my face because I feel his addition would make them winners, and more dangerous than you can imagine.
I also know how important having that safety net is for Sanchez – it’s like a must have, it’s not even debatable – that offense HAS TO HAVE a good pass catching 3rd down back to succeed. I don’t have a link but I invite you all to watch the week 11 highlights of the Lions and the Panthers and see Smith’s incredible play for yourselves and I think you will instantly see and understand exactly what I am talking about as well as why it is SO important, and therefore why I took the time to write this blog.
I’ve already made enough noise about this that I’ve actually got the teams attention and I’m not about to let up now. I’m gonna keep posting and blogging and drumming up support for the move in a number of different forums as well as posting a video of my Jets fan friends chanting “Sign Silent Bob” on youtube.
Come on Jets – LETS MAKE THIS HAPPEN – HE WILL ABSOLUTELY HELP US WIN GAMES AND MAKES US INSTANTLY BETTER FOR AN UNBELIEVABLY LOW COST!
Winning games will provide all the headlines anyone could ever want. This after all is the team that likes to sign the ‘names’ ,well this is one celebrity signing too good to pass up.
Woody, Mike T., Rex, please…, let’s bring Silent Bob to Broadway.
It’s what you’d call an instant blockbuster – not to mention the way he could excel in the Jets system – it would make Rex and Mike T. look like absolute geniuses!!!