Geno Smith has never thrown a pass in the NFL but he’s so widely mocked for not being a 1st round draft pick that it sort of feels like his career has already been a disappointment. Worst of all, he’s stuck on the Jets. But MAYBE! that’s a blessing in disguise. Because, you see, if Geno is any good at all he is already better than what we’ve seen from Mark Sanchez the last two years. Supposedly the JEts are installing a new, more-Sanchize friendly offense but if that means that there are more designed darts-in-the-dirt and botched handoffs, the QB, the coach, the GM, and a good portion of the scouting and training staffs will be gone in time to make Geno Smith a ROOKIE STARTER!!! In the Giant Apple! (Jersey is know as this, right?) At which point he will be the greatest thing ever after a 300-yd game and the worst thing ever if he turns the ball over in the 4th quarter.
Basically, Geno has already been painted into a corner by the sports media. Lazy, dart-throwing style “insider” reports from “Draft Experts” had Smith rising and falling dramatically over and over again between mid-January and late-April in their mock drafts based on real insider-type information such as reading other draft experts guessing where certain players might go in the draft. It’s basically impossible for a player to be actually inspire that sort of unpredictable divergence from their workouts to the actual draft. Realistically, teams saw Geno as a strong but not super-strong armed QB coming from a simplified system who produced at a high level but didn’t make all the right reads. To that end (the media murder), USA Today Sports published a short, inconsequential interview with the young QB. Let’s see what deeper meaning we can rest from it.
If you haven’t caught my drift yet, I think most of the media swirl surrounding Geno Smith for the last few months is garbage. I’m interested to see how Smith works out in the NFL and I think he, like most high-level prospects, just needs to be put in the proper situation. Maybe NYJ is the right spot for him. Maybe he could use that famous (fading?) Rex Ryan bluster. Maybe they can meld their minds to make the Jets a legitimate contender. I doubt it but Geno’s ceiling is a pretty good QB. He’s probably more Tony Romo (at best) than Peyton Manning (he’s not Peyton Manning), but that should be a pretty welcome possibility since the Jets have had maybe 8 seasons from a QB as good as or better than Tony Romo’s worst season (at least 4 of those were by Joe Namath, too, so stuff it with your silly historically illiterate ideas about Namath, please).
The interview itself is nothing bad. The writer, Jim Corbett (great name), is mostly concerned with Geno Smith firing his agents in the days after his perceived slide down draft boards. For what it’s worth, Geno presents himself well enough. He seems to come close to blaming his agents for falling to the second round but it’s within the realm of the possible that he was more annoyed by their lack of insider knowledge that lead to bad advice for Geno to attend the draft. That’s a public embarrassment that any player could see as an agency that is being paid to know better doesn’t actually know better. If they don’t have a realistic view of NFL opportunities, how well are they going to do in scouting other income streams? Of course, that’s me doing the same sort of very stupid astral projection that presumes I can see the world from inside Geno Smith’s head.
After a few weeks of pretty much the same batch of questions over and over again, it’s probably a decent sign that Geno Smith hasn’t snapped at any interviewers yet. He is, at least, not a Ryan Leaf type that goes off the handle with little to no provocation. I hope to God the feeding frenzy on Geno Smith diva stories dies down from here until the preseason. There is no information to be gleaned at this point and all of his interviews are stomping a dead horse gleefully. Of course, I’m dumb enough to read every one. What is the kid gonna say? “Yes, I’m high strung and I worry about how people perceive me. I cry, Jim, really I do. Those little bastard agents ruined everything! They’ve ruined my life!” Let’s see if the kid can ball in the league before we tear him apart too much.