Jets Rookie QB Geno Smith taking criticism in stride
Shortly after being selected by the New York Jets on draft night, Geno Smith predicted a playoffs appearance for the New York Jets in an on-camera interview. While Smith is unapologetic for what he said, the 22-year-old acknowledged to getting in trouble for the playoffs talk, which could be a learning experience in itself.
"I've already gotten in trouble for saying some things about, you know, playoffs and all that stuff, which I don't regret," said Smith on Sunday. "But I don't think I'll go as far as to being as bold as Joe (Namath) was."
Then again, joining the New York Jets’ media circus is a relatively new experience for a rookie. But Smith has been quick to catch onto his mistakes and has shown tremendous signs of growth in the fallout to his initial NFL experience. He said the media scrutiny in New York has been “eye-opening” and he’s learning to deal with it as part of his every day NFL life.
"I don't think I'm some of the things they try to make me out to be,” said Smith suggesting that the “diva” perception was a rouse by the media to sell headlines. “It's a part of the media… they're going to spin things and try to make an interesting story out of something that may not be so interesting."
Given the Jets’ recurring questions and inconsistencies at quarterback, Smith could have a shot at winning the starting job while improving his image, being the new player on the team. But first he'll have to prove he can handle the responsibility and won’t break down under criticism.
“I understand it’s part of my job to handle that,” continued Smith. “I’m going to take it in stride and do all the things that are necessary to make me and my team look good.”
Smith said that the post and pre-draft reports that negatively targeted work ethic and love of the game haven’t been able to divert his focus. Although, Smith added in the same beat that those rumors are “inaccurate” and he’s been unfairly portrayed by the media.
"From the standpoint of me being a diva, you talk to my teammates and coaches from Little League. Nobody will say that. “From the standpoint that I switched agents because of where I fell in the draft,” said Smith, “I'm not naïve. I understand an agent can't get you selected higher or lower.It's based on what teams need and the decisions they make in the front office.”
“Just the whole draft experience and everything that went down, I was supposed to be leaving the draft and all that stuff -- that was inaccurate again,” continued Smith. “There were a lot of things that were said that were anonymous and inaccurate. But all that comes with (the territory). I'm built for it, so I'm not really worried about it."