Geno Smith should bounce back in 2016


Geno Smith says he’s back and better before. His New York Jets teammates seem to believe him.

Smith only played in one game in the 2015 season. He was injured as the victim of a sucker punch to the face by former teammate IK Enemkpali, which was just the latest in a swarm of controversy surrounding the former WVU quarterback.

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When he was a Mountaineer, Smith was the poster child for head coach Dana Holgorsen and the air raid offense that carried the WVU football team into the Big East Conference in 2012.

His senior year at West Virginia provided enough talent for Smith to be selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2013.

Smith was given the reigns of the New York Jets as a rookie and he showed some flashes of brilliance. However, he also had his struggles and was diagnosed with an attitude problem after not fully living up to the lofty expectations thrust onto him by the testy New York media and the sometimes unfairness of fans in the Big Apple.

Now, three years later, the stars may be aligning for Smith and the Jets.

He isn’t technically the starting quarterback just yet, but if Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to have contract problems with the Jets front office, this might be Smith’s team again.

It seems like Smith is saying the right things. He has always been confident in himself, and that dates back to his Miramar High School days in South Florida. His ego may have been inflated with his strong play in Morgantown, too.

At first, the fact that he was thrown into the fire with the Jets may have hurt his development into a professional quarterback. However, it looks like the past two years have allowed him to retool and refocus in himself and his role as a leader and as a noble human being.

"“I’m just wiser,” said Smith. “I have more knowledge of the offense.”"

Even his teammates are taking notice of Smith’s renewed attitude.

"“He’s always on time,” said Jets safety Calvin Pryor. “He’s always doing the right things. At first, I saw that Geno really didn’t talk to too many people. But now he speaks and he goes about things the right way. “That’s what you have to do when you want guys to believe in you. You have to make sure you talk with everyone. You have to have everybody’s trust, everybody believing in you. Because we’re only going to go as far as you’re going to take us, along with this defense. Every great team, you have to see great quarterback play.”"

Statistically speaking, Smith has a career QB rating of 72.3. He has thrown for more than 5,000 yards in just over 25 games and he has also found the end zone 27 times.

In his one game last season, a 34-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Smith completed 27 of 42 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns.