New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith knows the 2015 season is likely his final opportunity to prove his worth with the franchise, but he’s not scared of failure.
In an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post, Smith made it clear he is determined to succeed, citing “confidence” in himself as a major reason. Serby reminded Smith that he was “confident” before the disastrous 2014 campaign as well, and the quarterback responded:
“Yeah,” he said, “but it’s a different kind of confidence. Just ultimate faith, man, just having trust and the knowledge and understanding that if I put the work in that success will come,” Smith said.
Success better come quick.
New head coach Todd Bowles has already made it clear he’s not interested in holding Smith’s hand through another mistake-ridden season. He’ll pull his young quarterback early in the season if Smith is costing the team games with careless turnovers.
Despite the short leash, Smith doesn’t appear worried about failure. He spoke about the maturation process he’s been through the past couple of years, a growing understanding of what it takes to succeed and then gave an analogy to support where his confidence lies:
“I’ll give you a good analogy, man: The hardest steel was created in the hottest of fires, and so I’ve been in the hottest of fires, and I think it’s made me a better person and a better player.”
Playing in New York, with so much constant pressure on him has certainly been akin to being thrown into a blazing inferno. Either Smith has developed the necessary thick skin to absorb the incessant criticism he hears through the media or he will continue crumbling under the pressure, much like we saw with Mark Sanchez.
The Jets have the talent on both sides of the ball to do big things this year…except at the quarterback position. Smith could shock the world by growing into a competent passer, but given what we’ve seen from him in his first two years it’s hard to imagine.
That said, from a pure talent standpoint he does have all the tools to succeed. Smith’s biggest problems in his first couple seasons stemmed from extremely poor decision-making under pressure and an apparent lack of accuracy (57.5 percent completion rate). He threw 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions his first two seasons. Flip those numbers around and it doesn’t look nearly as bad.
Smith could certainly do it. He does have the raw skills necessary to thrive in the NFL. It remains to be seen if he can put them all together, but there’s no doubting his confidence in himself to make it happen.
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