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Seahawks QB Geno Smith says learning a new offense is easier at this point of his career

Defensive scheme also coming along under new coach Macdonald

By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer
Published: May 23, 2024, 5:30pm
2 Photos
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws a pass during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Renton, Wash.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws a pass during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/ John Froschauer) Photo Gallery

RENTON — With the number of stops he’s made and the number of offensive coordinators he’s worked with over the years, learning yet another new offense isn’t quite as daunting as it once was for Seattle quarterback Geno Smith.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.

“When I first got into the league, all the words they meant nothing to me,” Smith said on Wednesday. “Now, 12 years, a lot of these plays I’ve run before, a lot of the ways we execute things I’ve been around. It’s just a different language. So it’s a matter of just learning the terminology and then obviously being able to recite it back to the guys in the huddle and go out there and again, make the play.”

Smith is in the beginning stages of seeing just what the Seattle Seahawks offense is going to look like under first-time NFL offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb.

Seattle held the third of its OTA practices on Wednesday, finally getting on the field for the type of work that can give an indication of where Smith and his teammates are in learning the system.

New Seattle coach Mike Macdonald said defensively only about 20% of the scheme installation has taken place. He said the goal is not necessarily to have everything in place before the end of the offseason program next month, but rather a baseline to build from when training camp starts in late July.

On the offensive side, Smith said he’s in a good spot at this point of the offseason.

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

Smith watched from afar — albeit not that far away — as Grubb turned Washington into a must-see offense over the past two seasons with Michael Penix Jr. at quarterback. While Grubb’s offense in college included a lot of shifts and motions to create confusion, its foundations were based in a traditional passing game.

“I feel like I’m a drop-back passer and this is a drop-back offense,” Smith said. “An offense that’s going to spread the ball around, trust the quarterback to make the right decisions — that’s pre- and post-snap. I feel like that’s something I’m really good at.”

Smith threw for 3,624 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 15 games last season in his second year as the starter under Shane Waldron. In his first year as the starter in Seattle, Smith threw for 4,282 yards and 30 TDs.

Macdonald said one area where they’re pushing Smith is taking another step both as a QB and a team leader.

“I think he’s answering the call,” Macdonald said. “Really excited about Geno up to this point, just getting to know him, but such a respect for how hard this man works at his craft.”

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