Monday, May 6, 2013

Rex: Jets' opinion of Geno is only one that matters


Geno Smith became more and more polarizing as the 2013 NFL Draft approached. And after the New York Jets selected the former West Virginia quarterback in the second round, everyone started to pile on.

Smith's new coach, however, isn't concerning himself with outside opinion. Sounds about right. (photo: Marianne O'Leary, Flickr)

"I can tell you this: The only opinion we care about is our organization's opinion," Rex Ryan recently told the Wall Street Journal. "We're excited about Geno. We know he's an excellent player, and we think he's an excellent person.

"If somebody else is making a comment about him or whatever, if it was a negative feeling, then that wasn't shared with us."

Days after the draft, anonymous sources (again, sounds about right) from multiple teams' internal operations ripped Smith for maturity issues, entitlement and lack of leadership skills. A lot of that thinking could be the reason why Smith, once considered a high first-rounder, fell to Day 2.

"He's going to have a tough time in New York," an NFC scout told ESPN New York last week. "Right now, he's coming off as a spoiled, pampered brat."

New York wasn't going to take a signal-caller in the first round despite having two picks, as they opted to go with a pair of defenders. But the Jets obviously thought enough of Smith to take a low-risk flier on the maligned quarterback.

Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg evaluated Smith in first-person at his workouts, and Ryan spent plenty of time in the film room.

"He can really throw it. He's accurate with the football. He's an excellent athlete," Ryan said. "I think he's got great movement skills, and the thing that really jumps out at you is the way he spins it and the production."

Smith will enter training camp in a positional competition with the incumbent Mark Sanchez and veteran David Garrard.

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