This so-called positive is also a negative. When an NFL signal-caller possesses that gunslinger mentality, he plays with fire on almost every single throw. The difference between a breathtaking skinny post touchdown or a pick-six could often be a fraction of an inch.
Although, many could argue no NFL quarterback can succeed if he doesn’t possess this attitude. They must be cool, confident and cutthroat (see Tom Brady).
Geno Smith absolutely has the gunslinger mentality. While it’s hurt him at times over the course of his first two-seasons, this quality has also been taken away from him by his head coach.
There’s no question that Rex Ryan believed in his defense. He’s a defensive genius, in fact. But that positive about Rex turns into a solid negative when handling quarterbacks and offenses.
He drilled the thought of “no turnovers” into Geno’s head to such an extent that he actually rattled the kid’s confidence. Instead of making the confident, accurate throw, Geno would often second-guess himself and completely botch the play.
Rex’s philosophy has always revolved around the defense winning ballgames and the offense just “not screwing it up.”
You simply cannot win that way in today’s NFL.
It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Todd Bowles handles Smith. Everything the rookie coach has said since he took charge has pointed in the direction of a balanced offense.