New York Jets’ Rookie Geno Smith Shows Early Maturity


May 10, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith (7) drops back to pass during New York Jets rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of criticism of Geno Smith since the New York Jets drafted him with the 39th choice overall in the draft. He’s been called a “diva”, “spoiled”, and disinterested as he went through the interviewing process. He hasn’t even thrown a pass in the NFL to date, and already the media has gotten in work to bring him down.

Geno Smith met with the media following the first day of rookie minicamp at Florham Park and sounded nothing like the spoiled diva that he has been described as. I am going to bring you some of his comments from the media session.

First, about whether he is disappointed in the criticism he has taken:

I don’t think anyone who’s worked with me or has known me in the past has had anything negative to say. I think from what I’ve seen, my coaches and teammates have all said great things about me. But I’m not focused on that. I’m focused on what I have here with the Jets, proving myself to my teammates and coaches and just focusing on bettering myself daily. You try to master this offense and (just be) one of the guys.

How his skill set matchups up with the Jets’ new offense:

I think it’s going to be a transition. Obviously, it’s a different system than I had been in, but like I said, it’s just about the work that I put in and making sure that I’m in that playbook day and night, studying film, watching guys from the past and the present who have played in a similar system and trying to figure out ways to implement my game into it.

On learning the playbook:

I’ve been studying my butt off. I’ve been in the playbook learning formations (and) learning protections. (I) had install one about two days ago and had to learn every single play and be able to go into the huddle, tell it to my teammates and then go out there and execute it. I think I did a good job overall today. There were some bumps in the road, but those are things that I think I can clean up.

On holding some throws too long:

You don’t want to throw into traffic, you don’t want to throw blind. I think it’s best to be safe than sorry, so if I have to hold onto it and see it later on film to be able to trust it more, as of right now, it’s just day one, so there are a lot of things that need to be improved and that would be one of them.

On meeting with the offensive line in his room the night before practice:

Yes, as soon as I got in my room, they were all in there going over the plays, so I took it upon myself to join them and we started to do more and more. It really helped us out today because we were able to get in and out of the huddle. (There) were not many miscommunications between us. I think we did a pretty decent job overall.

This to me sounds like a young man who is hungry, wants to become a great football player, and is ready to do the work. Let’s see him on the field before we get on his case.