89-Day New York Jets Warning – The Promise Of Geno Smith

Counting down the days until the Jets season starts with reasons to be excited for 2013…the promise of Geno Smith

Here at Turn On The Jets, we decided to take a page out of Robert Mays book over at Grantland (a polite way of saying rip his article idea off) by counting down the 115 days until the New York Jets kick off, with a daily reason to get excited about their return. Mays has the whole NFL to work with, we only have the Goddamn Jets…now there is a challenge, step your game up Mays!

We continue today with a look at the promise of Geno Smith (Note, you can track this entire series right here)

A quarterback goes to a major university. He starts for three seasons, all of which end with a winning record. The quarterback leaves the school as the all-time leader in career passing yards, completions, passing touchdowns, total offense, and completion percentage. In his senior season, he throws for 42 touchdowns compared to only 6 interceptions and a 71.8 completion percentage. Despite a few rough stretches, he is involved with a few of the most memorable moments of the year in college football, generating a positive buzz about his program and himself.

He never gets in trouble off the field. Instead he is noted for his intelligence and interest in the arts during his free time. His teammates never have a bad word to say about him and recognize him as a leader publicly. The quarterback comes from a strong family and has built a solid support network around him.

When the Draft process begins, he is generally considered the top player at his position and a top 10-15 pick. There is no pre-draft catastrophes. There is a scathing scouting report from a known race baiter and a disappointing decision to not play in the Senior Bowl which was advised by his agents at the time but there is no DUI, no botched interviews and no porous workouts.

The quarterback falls further than anybody expects until the New York Jets take him with the 39th overall pick, where he unquestionably provides good value. It is considered a huge surprise he was not a top 15 pick but also not a first round pick. After being selected, he says all the right things. He is excited to be in New York. He is confident in his abilities. He doesn’t leave the Green Room for Day 2 of the Draft.

After the draft, he makes the fairly common decision to switch representation. A reasonable choice considering his tumble in the Draft, lack of PR put out to combat the previously mentioned scouting report and the curious decision to sit out the Senior Bowl. The quarterback is ripped to pieces by the local media, who uses weak and anonymous sourcing. Now the kid is entitled. Now the kid doesn’t listen to coaches, despite his coaches vehemently supporting him.

Geno Smith is a quarterback Jets fans and the local media should be excited to have part of the organization. Yet, he is buried under a wall of cynism. The local media doesn’t need to coddle him. It needs to give him a fair chance. We know they have Tebow remorse and would rather be counting his words at a press conference but that is no reason to bury a 22 year old.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS STORY PITCH OF THE DAY – Where is Tebow going to live in New England? Will it be Quincy? I bet it won’t be Quincy. He is more of a Dorchester guy. Do you think he’ll pick up an accent? I wonder how he’ll sound with that accent. Pretty cool, no? I bet Bill Belichick uses him as a Super Hybrid H-BackEndFullQuarterback. He is so savvy. Tebow. TEBOW. TEBOW!

RANDOM JET OF THE DAY – TEBOW! – Arguably a top 5 punt protector in team history. Tebow was the 4th leading rusher on a 6-10 team in 2012, finishing with 102 yards on 3.2 yards per carry.


Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • LIJetsFan

    Gah, enough Tebow, please!

  • KAsh

    Geno Smith will continue to be scrutinized and criticized as long as people keep thinking of him as a top 10 pick that slid in the draft. There was no rush to get him. A bunch of QB-needy teams passed on him. The Cardinals, a team that has had a quarterback-by-commitee approach for the past two years due to injury and a lack of talent, and now have an aging veteran at the position, passed on Geno with the #38 pick. We know that the Cowboys gave him a second round grade behind Ryan Nassib.

    Geno has potential. He can develop into a really good quarterback and the leader of this team. But he is being thought of as something beyond what he is by the fan base, which gets reflected in the media, which then nitpicks every single detail about his life and his play on the field. Relax. Geno is a second-round pick that might have been taken too early. Russell Wilson fell to the third round because a lot of teams had already picked a QB in the first two rounds that year; Geno fell because teams did not give him a high grade.

  • Joe Caporoso

    KAsh –

    – Geno was in the top 15 in the overwhelming majority of mock drafts and it was considered a surprise that he fell that far, even though yes I agree he was a talent to appropriately be drafted in the 25-40 range.

    – Arizona’s decisions at QB shouldn’t be considered gospel or an indictment on Geno. Arians is also a big Palmer fan, once they got him, they were out of QB market. Dallas took a 4th round Center in round 1, so I don’t put much stock in their grades.

    – It is silly to say Russell lasted to the 75th pick because “a lot of teams had already picked a QB” – Only 5 of the 32 teams in the league picked a QB before then. Russell Wilson lasted until mid-way through the 3rd round because he was graded as a 3rd round player by the overwhelming majority of teams in the NFL (incorrectly, obviously).

  • Harold

    Joe don’t use stats to back up what you say Kash likes to use his own thoughts as the determining factor in sports debates.

    (Couldn’t resist Kash)-But it is good to see Geno getting consistent 1st team reps in over the last three weeks. I think it is only a matter of time as long as continues to progress, before he takes the job. Geno has all the tools to be a quality NFL starter. I think if we take a careful approach over the first 8-10 weeks of the season a la the Redskins and Seahawks, when we take off the training wheels he should be ready to go

  • keator

    If Geno should of been a 3rd round pick mark shouldnt even been drafted.

  • Circles26

    Geno dropped because he played in a really weird offense in college. It’s difficult to project a QB that doesn’t run a conventional offense, and he will take some time to adjust. Also his team lost a lot of games after winning so many. He did personally let it get to him for a couple of games, but then he finish strong, although his defense did not. For some reason it’s human nature to worry about guys that play worse than they did before, even though worse is still pretty damn good. Kind of like Rex. The first 2 years of deep playoff runs made the last two seem horrible. Now he’s lucky to have a job, despite having one of the best records of any coach in his first 4 years, all without an adequate QB, or an adequate OC. That, and there also seems to be a tendency for players that drop to keep dropping. Like GMs are thinking, maybe they know something I don’t. No one wants to be the guy that stops the fall. Look at all the heat Idzik has gotten for taking Geno 35 picks past where he was projected. The real problem is the world is full of idiots, and sheep.

  • KAsh

    The overwhelming number of drafts had three QBs going in the first round and none that I read (even the ones with trades factored in) had a QB going in the middle of he round. Furthermore, Matt Barkley was supposed to go in the second round, as well as Ryan Nassib and Tyler Wilson. The year before, the Jets were supposed to go with Melvin Ingram and no way with Quinton Coples. I should also probably mention Sheldon Richardson and how he was consistently rated the #3 DT while Sharrif Floyd was a top 5 pick. Only after the draft did it come out that the 49ers were going to pick Richardson with the 13th pick had they traded up for it.

    I’m only saying all of this to show that mock drafts cannot be used as a gauge for talent or expectation. Mock drafters go mostly by perceived need, which they derive largely through headlines. They also have no access to some of the most important pieces of the puzzle: the interviews, the private workouts, and the dinner conversations with the prospects. To be hyping Geno because of where the mock drafts had him going is a great disservice to Geno himself.

    The Cardinals are just one example. Many other teams passed on Smith, some that he was regularly mocked to in the first and second round. It is with the hindsight of the draft that we can say that Arians is a believer in Palmer because AZ did not take a single QB. But I do not think that it is wrong to question Arians’s faith. Or suggest that he could have taken Geno in the second round if he felt like he could have developed and replaced Palmer once he either left, retired, or got hurt.

    Finally, Russell Wilson was the sixth QB taken in a draft that had teams gaga over the talent at the position coming out. He surprised Seattle by being as good of a QB and a leader as he was when he got on their field. So this was an instance of a good prospect that was overlooked because of those that preceded him. What was the reason for Geno’s fall? He was one of the most publicized and scrutinized players in this draft, routinely rated the best at his position. Ultimately, even if teams liked Geno, some question, some objection stuck in their heads about Geno’s limitations at the next level. To put it tersely, none of the teams’ evaluators agreed with the hype. They all had reservations.

    This article was about Geno’s promise and potential, but it spent a lot of time on how he was being criticized. I do believe in him and his development, but he is being criticized because people still associate Geno with his pre-draft hype. He cannot be a steal before he plays a single game for the Jets. And treating him like a steal and like the team’s savior is only mounting more pressure and justifying the scrutiny. He was a developmental pick. He has so far performed like a developmental pick. He is being mentored by the Buttfumbler for crying out loud. Ease up on him: if he starts – great; if not – it is not an indictment on Geno.

  • Mark Phelan

    We are transferring too much of our fandom onto Smith because of our distaste for Sanchez.

    In the context of this year’s WCO wouldn’t it make sense for Smith to be introduced gradually, in certain game situartions and as the season progresses?

    Even this suggestion is too optimistic. In truth, we really don’t know what Smith brings to the NFL.

  • Angel

    If you think the media is tearing Geno Smith down now… wait til Mark Sanchez leaves.

    You ain’t seen nothing yet.