Criticism of Geno Smith is Way Off Base

By Greg Sulik
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

It seems everywhere you look today people are jumping all over New York Jets QB Geno Smith. Yes, he threw three interceptions down the stretch last night. No, he hasn’t set the world on fire in his first two starts. However, saying he is already a failure or that Matt Simms or Brady Quinn should take over as starting quarterback is just plain ridiculous.

First of all, Smith is a rookie who has never played in a pro style system before. He will need time to learn it and develop. The comparisons to Colin Kaepernick that everyone is trying to make are completely inaccurate. There situations are totally different, and they have nothing in common as players other than the fact they play quarterback and wear No. 7.

Kaepernick came from a read-option and then sat for a year. He then took over an extremely talented team coached by a quarterback guru and ran the read option. That’s a huge difference from switching from a spread to a West Coast offense on a team that is coached by a defensive coach and lacks talent at the skill positions. So for once and for all, please stop comparing the two.

The performances of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have made people think that rookie quarterbacks will always come in and succeed right away. They forget however, the 28 interceptions Peyton Manning threw in his rookie season, the fact Eli Manning didn’t complete 60% of his passes until his 5th NFL season and how it took Ben Roethlisberger until his 4th season to throw 20 touchdowns. What do those three players have in common? Oh yeah, they’ve won Super Bowls.

I’m not saying Smith will reach their level eventually, but the point is not to jump to conclusions. Smith is going through growing pains, and he will get better. He has his team at 1-1, and they almost beat a Super Bowl contender last night. Compared to what people were expecting, that’s pretty good. Smith still has a long way to go, but he will get there as he gets more reps and experience. The receivers around him are young and will continue to develop.

The Jets are not going to be a very good offense this season, but that’s ok. They are going to develop as a team, and they should set themselves up in very good position for the future. Two games is a pretty small sample size, and it’s extremely unlikely that these two games will have any impact on what the rest of his career looks like.

Calm down people. Geno is a normal rookie, and all he needs is time.

Greg Sulik is a New York Jets writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GregSulik or add him to your network on Google

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