New York City will eat you up if you’re not ready for the bright lights and big stage. In the Big Apple fans expect results and fans expect top play from their favorite teams and players. For New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, he still has a long way to go in order to achieve that unconditional love from his loyal Jet fans. New York can make you a star or it can make you a villain; go ask Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez about the difference in support they get playing in New York. Luckily for Smith he falls right in the middle of those two, because last year he wasn’t good and he wasn’t bad; he was just average. Smith can get away with average for his first season under center, but it can’t be a model of consistency or his trip down Broadway lane may be over.
It’s no secret that New York is different than other cities. Organizations in New York know that in order to gain respect you need to put up not only wins, but playoffs berths as well — and a few titles here and there too. Last season was good learning experience for Smith as he got a chance to learn the game at an NFL level and develop over the course of the season. It’s hard to expect a Super Bowl from a rookie during his first year, but Smith just needs to remember that there is a laundry list of players out there waiting to take his spot. When the Jets brought in veteran Michael Vick during the offseason, it sent a message to the young QB: Either win soon or you will be replaced.
Last year was a roller coaster ride for Smith, as he was all over the place when it came to consistency. Some weeks he had QB Ratings of 147.7, 91,7 and 88.6, yet other weeks he put up numbers like 22.3, 10.1 and 8.3. If Smith can gain a little consistency in his game it will help him out a lot, but it’s much easier said than done. Smith still has time to surprise a lot of people and prove his doubters wrong. He has great size, great speed and a great arm, but all of those credentials don’t mean a thing unless he can win. This year he has a lot of help on the offensive side of that ball that will assist him in grabbing some more wins. Eric Decker, Jace Amaro and Chris Johnson are all capable of having big years for the Jets, but it’s up to Smith to orchestrate this offense and make it happen.
Smith needs to play consistent, play smart and remember that when you’re winning in New York it’s better than any other place in the world. If you’re losing, though, it’s a totally different story.