Geno Smith ready to lead Jets, says OL Willie Colon

By Jesse Reed

The New York Jets aren’t making any headway on a new contract with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it might not matter. Offensive lineman Willie Colon thinks Geno Smith is finally ready to lead Gang Green into the future after he took a back seat to Fitzpatrick last year.

Speaking with local media, via’s Dom Cosentino, Colon discussed Smith’s growth this past season:

“I think Geno’s been humbled,” Colon said. “I think he’s taken on everything; I think he’s ready to rise. I still have confidence in him. I think with the pieces we have around him, and continue to put around him, he can be successful. I honestly believe that. I think Geno’s a good quarterback.”

This is particularly noteworthy, because only last year Colon was outspoken about his thought that Smith was “never ready” to be the team’s starter after having the job thrust upon him from Day 1 as a second-round rookie out of West Virginia.

In two seasons as a starter, he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. He’s completed just 57.9 percent of his career passes, throwing 27 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.

Of course, it’s worth noting that the Jets don’t appear to have the same opinion of Smith that Colon does.

In addition to the team’s efforts to work out an agreeable contract to bring Fitzpatrick back into the fold, the Jets also brought Robert Griffin in for a visit recently. The team has also been linked to Colin Kaepernick, but nothing has come of those rumors to date.

Many have thought this move was made solely to prompt Fitzpatrick to action on a deal worth less money than he’s seeking. However, if the franchise viewed Smith as a viable replacement then RG3 wouldn’t have been needed as bait.

That said, it’s quite a positive sign that Smith is finally getting some vocal support from inside his own locker room. There were rumblings last summer after IK Enemkpali broke the quarrterback’s jaw that he didn’t exactly have that support before losing his job.

Perhaps a year off, and some humbling circumstances, were just what the doctor ordered for this young quarterback going forward.