New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith heads into training camp as the starter in what might amount to his last chance to prove he’s worthy of that distinction.
He’s also not sure why so-called experts out there have him as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL:
“I laugh at that. I laugh at it. It’s hilarious,” Smith said, via the NY Post. “It was hilarious last year, too,” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter at this point. We’ve got to work on us as a team. That’s why I hate to talk about individual stuff because it’s a team game. No matter what they rate me, wherever we finish at the end of the year is most important.”
Unfortunately for Smith, his standing as the worst starter in the NFL last year holds some ground. The former second-round pick lost 10 of his 13 starts while compiling 14 total touchdowns compared to 16 turnovers. He also led the Jets to less than 20 points in eight of his starts. That came on the heels of the young signal caller putting up 18 touchdowns compared to 26 turnovers as a rookie.
His response stems from a piece ESPN’s Mike Sando ran that took a look at where executives and coaches around the NFL ranked quarterbacks heading into the 2015 campaign.
“He cannot process fast enough. He is not a natural guy, sliding in the pocket and knowing when to run it,” one coach said about Smith, via ESPN (insider required). “He has some legs to run, but no, he is trying to prove he is a pocket passer. Let’s do something at the position before we start limiting ourselves for image.”
The good news for Smith this season is that he has a proven No. 1 wide receiver in Brandon Marshall who should help him a great deal in the passing game. The bad news here is that Smith has not proven himself to be a starter-caliber quarterback in the NFL.
With veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick potentially breathing down his neck and the Jets reportedly prepared to go into camp with a short hook on Smith as a starter, the third-year quarterback needs to prove himself. The waiting game is over. It’s now all about production.
Photo: USA Today Sports