Geno Smith, who has thrown for 27 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in his NFL career, has played in just one game since the start of the 2015 season. And yet, Smith told reporters last week that he is “way too talented” to be a backup quarterback.
That’s interesting, mainly because the Jets coaching staff seems to think otherwise.
Is Smith’s statement a sign of supreme confidence or utter delusion?
“Not delusional at all,” Bleacher Report NFL writer Tyler Dunne said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “There definitely is an air of confidence around this guy after everything he’s been through. He’s going to be the starter and gets gets socked in the jaw from his teammate. He hasn’t started a game since. He is really convinced he’s a totally different quarterback than the one that everybody saw before that punch, the young kid out of West Virginia trying to run several different offenses under Marty Mornhinweg. I think getting Chan Gailey in there and really working with Fitz and working with Tom House, who’s tutored some of the best quarterbacks in the game, has really helped him.”
There’s just one problem.
“We haven’t seen it yet. He’s a total mystery,” Dunne said. “The fact that the Jets went out and drafted Bryce Petty, drafted Christian Hackenberg and paid up for Ryan Fitzpatrick, it doesn’t say a lot about what they think about Geno Smith. But to answer your question, I really got the sense that it was genuine and he’s a confident guy and is ready to be a totally different player whenever he gets that chance.”
Smith, 25, was a second-round pick in 2013. He threw 12 touchdowns and 21 picks as a rookie and 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2014. Then the jaw incident happened.
Smith hasn’t been the same ever since – and he wasn’t all that good to begin with.
“He’s got the 4.5 speed. He’s got a strong arm. He put up all those numbers at West Virginia,” Dunne said. “But that’s not what the NFL is about. You have to see everything a split second faster.”
The Jets, however, are 1-3, and Fitzpatrick has thrown nine interceptions in his last two games.
“At what point do you make that move?” Dunne asked. “They’ve got a real tough schedule coming up. If the picks continue for Fitz – with that defense, the weapons you have around Fitz – it might get to that point where you have to make that move.”
The Jets play at Pittsburgh (3-1) this Sunday, at Arizona (1-3) on Monday Night Football on Oct. 17, and host Baltimore (3-1) on Oct. 23.