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.