NY Jets: The truth hurts for Geno Smith
The NY Jets made a long-term mistake in drafting Geno Smith, but the aftermath of IK Enemkpali’s punch showed his true colors.
IK Enemkpali was the unsung hero of the Jets this September.
With one, resounding punch and two cracks of a mandible, he silenced three arduous, tumultuous seasons of quarterback debates, headed undoubtedly, for a fourth.
There has been much speculation as to the reason behind the locker room incident, however, the fact remains: no quarterback should ever find himself in a situation where a teammate resorts to punching him in the face.
With Geno Smith out, like Superman, journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick came aboard, put this team on his back and piloted the Jets into a playoff play-in game. Under his leadership, the Jets would have flown into the NFL Playoffs for the first time in five years.
Smith was never put in a position to succeed in New York. He entered into a tumultuous situation and became the 4th different quarterback to start over the course of two seasons (2012 and 2013). He was expected to be an instant success with players like Stephen Hill, David Nelson and Jeremy Kerley catching his passes. With a very minimal supporting cast, his offense finished 25th out of 32 total teams. Then, in 2014, after steering the Jets to a 1-9 start, he was benched and replaced by veteran Michael Vick.
Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) stands beside quarterback Michael Vick (1) after being benched in the first half against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
This season, the only TV-Time Smith got were sideline shots of him hugging his shoulder pads. Put in his position, I would be relentlessly studying the playbook and Microsoft Surface footage from the bench.
I would absorb everything I could from a veteran like Fitzpatrick. I would love to talk strategy with veteran wide receivers Brandon Marshall (most likely headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame) and Eric Decker every time they came off the field.
Geno? He’s content with being a field level spectator with his hands on the collarbone portion of his shoulder pads. His work ethic is reprehensible.
Clearly, Geno Smith doesn’t even want to be here.
July 23, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith arrives for training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Monday Morning quarterbacking is always 20/20, but there is no doubt that everyone in attendance and watching the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft that Friday night in April knew Smith was not the answer for the Jets. I would know; I was there.
As the 7th pick in the 2nd round, he was never going to be the future of this franchise that so desperately needed a hero. In fact, the thunderous boos from the upper deck (where I was sitting) rained down as Smith’s name was announced.
We were all asking each other the same question: “WHY?”. USA Today confirmed everyone’s disdain the next day by writing “this pick seems pretty questionable. The Jets also are a team that needs two guards, a tight end, and a running back”.
After some research, I uncovered some information you may not want to read. It might make you sick. Guess what, Jets fans:
Notable picks in 2nd round AFTER Geno is drafted:
#16 Le’Veon Bell (RB- PIT)
#29 Eddie Lacy (RB- GB)
Notable picks in the 3rd round (also AFTER Geno is drafted):
#1 Travis Kelce (TE- KC)
#7 Tyrann Mathieu (S- ARI)
#30 Stedman Bailey (WR- STL)
More jets: Jets should take a chance on Matt Forte
That’s right: Bell, Lacy or Kelce, all players that would have plugged the holes in the Jets’ lineup at that point in time. All of which could have been donning our beloved green and white. Imagine the possibilities!
The Jets made a long-term mistake in drafting Smith, but the aftermath of Enemkpali’s punch showed Smith’s true colors. Content with being a spectator, for the rest of his time in New York, Smith’s playing time deserves to be in an extremely limited capacity.