As sports stories go, Geno Smith is a hot topic right now. The No. 39 pick in the 2013 NFL draft has been surrounded by media for weeks due to his poor attitude and immature behavior. Just a few weeks ago, Smith had fired his agents because he wasn’t chosen first overall, or even in the top-10 as he fell all the way into the second round.
Though first overall pick seems far-fetched, Smith isn’t a bad player by any means. Playing four seasons in West Virginia, Smith averaged a 67.4 completion percentage, throwing 98 total touchdowns. Smith’s best season came in his senior year when he threw 42 TD’s with a 72.2 completion percentage.
Recently, Smith had participated in his first training camp and had surprisingly shied away from his self-centered remarks. In fact, Smith later talked about his comments to ESPN New York, grading himself a big fat “F” and stated, “I don’t resent any of it, I don’t pay attention to any of it, I’ve just been my normal old self. Nothing has changed. I’m not feeling any way toward any of it. I couldn’t care less about it.”
He declined to speak about his performance in the second day of training camp.
Though Smith would like to remain optimistic about his chances of starting at QB, a numbers game will soon have to come into play. With five quarterbacks on the roster, it seems unlikely that Smith will be named the Week 1 starter, considering that head coach Rex Ryan seems to have already made up his mind on Mark Sanchez.
This still doesn’t mean that Geno Smith isn’t the perfect fit for the New York Jets. “I like the way Geno threw the ball,” coach Rex Ryan said. “He looked pretty good to me. He can really spin it, but that’s no surprise to me.”
Also, Smith and Ryan may have more in common than meets the eye. When thinking of Ryan, a number of descriptive adjectives come to mind (you can fill in the blanks). Remember, this is the same guy who got a tattoo of Sanchez’s number on his arm (favoritism? creepy?). Many like to question Ryan’s maturity levels and his ability to be a true leader to this franchise.
The same thoughts come to mind when you think of Smith. Many have questioned whether he has the capability to compete in a high-pressure situation, especially within the New York media.
The Jets organization may have thought they were turning the page on their troubled franchise by releasing general manager Mike Tannenbaum of his duties, but they ultimately decided to keep Ryan as the man in charge. Whether this will turn out to be a fatal mistake on the part of Jets ownership is yet to be seen, but by the way the front office has spent most of their time this off season, it looks like they are continuing to try to construct a team that fits a “Rex Ryan system.”
Drafting Geno Smith was the first piece to this puzzle, and many expect him to fit in quite well. If he doesn’t start this year, maybe being able to learn from the likes of veteran David Garrard and Mark Sanchez might just be good enough.