Originally posted by Kolohe:
He still needs to work on taking snaps from under center and making reads there. Hes been solid in gun formation, but our running game becomes predictable the more times we're in the gun.
Ah! Ding! Ding!Ding!Ding!Ding!
This is the answer. Reading a defense from under center and throwing the short pass accurately without locking on to the hot-read (receiver).
This has not been done effectively for all of Smith's career because (I think) for the following reasons:
1) Smith has had too many changes at QB coach and OC to establish timing and a help with mechanics - not just footwork but looking the LB or safety off and throwing the ball quickly and on-time.
2) Changes at OC combined with changes at WR means he's not established any chemistry with his receiver. Throwing a deep come-back/slant route on time while looking off a CB, LB or a FS/SS (whoever is in coverage). Chemistry and confidence that your receiver will (a) run the proper route and (b) catch the ball and not let it hit him in the hands for a possible interception.
3) Understanding Smith's passing strengths - he is a intermediate passer. His intermediate, seam passes are undefendable when thrown on time one-on-one, usually to Davis. He can hit this pass in his sleep over and over with uncanny accuracy. This is the reason why Davis leads the league for TE in TDs - this pass.
4) OL doesn't provide enough protection for Smith to drop back from CENTER 5 or 7 stepper, provide passing lanes and throw with accuracy on a consistent basis. The OGs are so bad that they are often beat at the LOS and preventing Smith from "stepping up". Notice that he tends to drift to his right because the OGs are getting destroyed.
Turner said it best - Smith is good if you do the things he can do well and marginalize the things he can't. Asking him to be a short-passing game QB isn't going to work out well. Any OC who insists on this is going to get burned until Smith has more time to work on this part of his game. I've said this before in other threads. If Smith can get his short passing game stabilized, he'll be in the top 8 QBs in the league because his intermediate passing game is off the charts currently.