They say that a football franchise is only as successful as its quarterback, and such is the way with Geno Smith and his time so far with the New York Jets.
Some have praised him for his ability to remain calm during the heat of the moment, while others have criticized him for rushing decisions and trying to make something out of nothing. Regardless, Smith holds a very important key to the overall image of the franchise, whether he believes it or not.
For the past few years, the Jets haven’t really had a true franchise quarterback that came in and really became something special. Sure, many will remember when the franchise got a taste of success in the first few years of the Mark Sanchez era, but we know how that ended. The same goes for players like Chad Pennington, Ray Lucas, Vinny Testaverde, and so on. Not even the great Brett Favre was able to help catapult the Jets to the Super Bowl.
Franchise quarterbacks are consistent, and don’t rely on a flashy group of receivers or a dominating tight end to be an elite signal caller. They have skills that can turn nobodies into extraordinary athletes. Players like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees come to mind. Can Smith become that kind of long-term solution at quarterback for the Jets?
One thing about Smith is that he’s humble and has done everything in his power to improve. While others were on vacation or partying in Las Vegas, Smith went to an offseason quarterback program to work on his game. He’s been working out and studying offensive playbooks every moment he gets, and he has been absorbing a ton of knowledge from Michael Vick.
Not since Joe Namath have the Jets had a quarterback that backed up what he preached. With time, Smith will only improve, and his success is incredibly important for the franchise to be considered contenders instead of pretenders. If he can bounce back from his bumpy rookie season, limit his mistakes and perform like there is no tomorrow, he will be the image that the Jets need to establish to the world of professional football.
Maybe then they can finally enjoy something they haven’t dreamed of in over 40 years.