New York Jets rookie QB Geno Smith had a rough first few weeks of the regular season due to issues with interceptions, and these decision-making blips are common- but still back-breaking for an offense- for a rookie signal-caller. Smith took advantage of a porous Atlanta Falcons secondary, and he had an absolutely impeccable performance in a Monday Night Football victory. Smith was criticized for his maturity at several points during the pre-draft process, but it only takes a simple glance at press conference transcripts to see that this is not the case for the former West Virginia Mountaineers star.
The panel of analysts on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown are certainly enamored with the poise that Geno Smith has shown. Below are quotes from Tom Jackson and Ray Lewis, via ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini.
From Lewis, “When you watch Geno Smith play football, the first thing you see is how calm and composed he is. The young kid has a level of humility about himself.”
Humility and poise; two important traits that bode well for a player in a leadership role like Geno.
From Jackson, “He’s got the calm. He’s got the cool. He’s got the head. He’s got the professional arm. Now, what I’d like to see him do is now start to extend some plays. The game will slow down for him eventually. Right now that clock is not going off in his head, so he’s taking these crushing sacks while he’s holding onto the football.”
Love those first two sentences from Jackson, and I think we’ll see Smith extend plays more often as the season goes on. I assume that he is holding onto the ball since he is worried about throwing more picks, and I also want to note that the New York Jets pass protection has been worse than I expected.
Geno Smith was also praised for his deep ball by legendary wide receiver Cris Carter, “Very accurate with the football, throws the deep ball very well. Those are the things as a player that I really like. I love the adversity. … When you can respond to adversity, you’ve got a good chance of being a pro because you’re going to have days like that. I love the way he’s turned that adversity into positive things.”