Defending Geno Smith is like attaching yourself to a sinking ship. I imagine if I were to say anything positive about Smith, a lot of people reading this wouldn't be too impressed. However Smith had some excellent sound-bites yesterday that shows his confidence in himself and the team is still there:
I have the utmost amount of confidence in myself and my teammates and I truly believe that we're going to be successful," Smith said. "I know that it doesn't always seem that way at times, but just having that bigger picture in my mind and knowing what we're all striving for and what we can all achieve, I think we have the right guys in this locker room. The nucleus of this locker room is very strong and the talent is there. We fell short many games this year by a small margin and that's the NFL, but we're young and we're learning and we're going to find ways to win."
It's easy to forget that Geno is just in his second season, however due to him being pushed into action last year and struggling to start his career, the fans no longer have confidence in him and his ability to move the Jets in the right direction.
He's completing less than 58% of his passes and has thrown more interceptions (12) than he has touchdowns (8), he knows he's been far from perfect, but he sees signs of improvement, even if we can't right now:
"I look at my season and all the plays that we've had and all the good things that we've done as an offense, the yardage, the way we've been able to move the ball and [they are] very positive signs, but there are things that we need to improve on," Smith said, "And one thing that I know is I'm going to work my butt off to make sure that I do improve on those things. I've seen the improvement over the course of time with subtle things that I've been really focusing on, but there's still lots of room to grow and I've got to keep working at it and I know it's going to happen. You've just got to keep working at it and trusting what you've been doing."
Does anyone question his desire? He'll work his butt off but sometimes working hard doesn't always end in results. It's the unfortunate truth of the QB position and how good you really have to be to perform at a high level. There are obvious flaws in his game. He holds onto the ball too much, he doesn't trust what he sees in front of him and he fails to work through his progressions. These aren't easy, straight forward things to do and it's easy for us to sit back and point out all his flaws.
Smith is a confident man, and you need to be confident in your own ability to be a success. Just because you're confident doesn't mean you will turn it around but it's a start. Will Geno get the chance to turn it around? I imagine he'll be in an open competition for the starting spot this pre-season. My confidence in Geno becoming a good QB is shot, but I haven't given up completely, I just can't do that with him not completing two full seasons yet.
"We believe that we're going to come out of this and be successful," Smith said. "I know that I'm going to be successful and I believe in all my teammates in saying that we'll all be successful. We don't like to talk about the future, because we're living in the right now, but it's almost exciting to think about all the room for improvement that we have. But at the same time, we've got to really hone in on the right now and just focus on what we need to do right now."
If you're a fan who wants to "suck for the duck" or "win none for Winston" Sheldon Richardson has some words for you:
They're quitters," Richardson said. "That's how I feel. You go all-in with a guy, why not give him his chance?"