Select Sports Group has not only not done any favors for the Jets Rookie QB, they, and some others in the media who should know better, have served to plant an idea in the minds of some pea-brained, no-nothing, can’t read so-called football observers that Geno Smith has a bad attitude, and can’t possibly be ready for the NFL’s level of passing attack he will have to run.
Those ideas have been communicated to the minds of some football observers who repeat what they read without a pause for critical thinking, especially if that something fits their biases. And then they get massively upset with anyone who provides a counter to their ill-considered, and completely wrong headed point of view.
Time to upset them, yet again.
In an ongoing effort to set the Geno Smith record straight, here’s his first NFL press conference after the Jets’ picked him in the 2nd Round last week. The video’s above; the text below – take note that Geno said the idea that he was going to leave the NFL Draft completely was not true:
Q. How do you feel ‑‑ being in the NFL?
GENO SMITH: Happy to be here right now. It’s a dream come true.
Q. What was last night like for you?
GENO SMITH: It was a test of patience. To be there with my mom and my family on her birthday, it was a great night. It’s a blessing to be here in Radio City Music Hall. I appreciate all of the festivities and everything that I was able to take part in, because it’s once‑in‑a‑lifetime for me.
Q. I know when you left last night, you didn’t think you would be back today. What changed your mind and what brought you back?
GENO SMITH: You know, just talking to all my supporters and everyone who had watched the draft and everyone from my high school and my university and everyone just wanted me to remain here and to walk across that stage and to stand up and represent them all.
Q. How much are you looking forward to knowing that you have the opportunity to start day one, especially with that chip on your shoulder?
GENO SMITH: Right now, I can’t even speak on that. I’m just proud to be a Jet. You know, I talked to Rex Ryan about playing the Jet way, and it’s all about building up your teammates and playing as a team. That’s what I’m all about.
I’m a selfless guy, and whatever my role is on the team is what I’ll accept. But I’m going to come in and compete from day one and be a competitor from day‑in, day‑out and just try to help my team win games.
Q. Talk about Aaron Rodgers ‑‑ do you want to talk about what it meant that he was thinking about you?
GENO SMITH: I watched that draft and I watched Aaron go through that. It was kind of ironic that you see that and then you’re put in that position.
Like I said, it was just a test of patience. I’m a patient guy. All of those guys that got picked ahead of me are deserving so there’s no bitterness towards them or any of those teams. I’m just ready to get in and play football again.
Q. Who called you first when you picked up the phone?
GENO SMITH: John Idzik called me, and I was able to talk to Coach Ryan. Me and Coach Mornhinweg and Lee, built a good rapport over the course of this process. But I’m going to go in and get to work.
Q. Did any of those guys advise you not to comment on the quarterback situation?
GENO SMITH: No, not at all.
Q. Yesterday when you were back in the Green Room, hearing the Gene oh chants from Jets fans ‑‑ going out there and seeing them, it looked like you had a sigh of relief as soon as you stepped on the stage.
GENO SMITH: It was just a once‑in‑a‑lifetime moment. I can’t even explain it. I’ve done so many things in my life but I don’t think any of them amount to what I just experienced out there. I’m proud to be a Jet.
You know, everything that I’ve been to up until this point is extremely ‑‑ you know, I think is an extreme blessing for me and my family, because, you know, it only happens once.
Q. The criticism that you talked about, coming to New York, that’s one of the things that you’ll face day‑in and day‑out, how do you think this has prepared you for that?
GENO SMITH: That’s the NFL and that’s the position of quarterback. I’ve played this position all my life and I understand that it comes with the territory and I’m prepared for it.
Q. Do you think about wanting to get more movement for the quarterback ‑‑
GENO SMITH: No, we haven’t discussed any of that yet. Right now, it’s just a feeling of gratitude and just extremely proud to be a Jet.
Q. What’s your families reaction?
GENO SMITH: My mother was in tears. She burst out in tears. She tried to make me cry but I was able to hold on.
Q. Will you give her a belated birthday card now?
GENO SMITH: Oh, no. Yesterday was amazing. We exchanged gifts prior to the draft and she just expressed how gratifying it was for her to finally see me living out my dream.
Q. Why did you not want to come back yesterday?
GENO SMITH: There was never an issue of me not wanting to come back. I declined interviews last night because I was going out with my mother. I left a little early. There was kind of a big deal made about it. I just got out of there, and I knew I was going to be picked the end of the first round so just wanted to make sure that I got her out of there before the media, you know, was able to get all up in her face.
Q. That was interpreted ‑‑
GENO SMITH: I understand that, and the position that I’m in, you know, everything’s going to get analyzed. Some things may be overblown but it’s not my job to worry about those things.
I’ve got a job at hand right now, and the Jets selected me to come in and hopefully be their quarterback, so I’m going to come in and compete.
Q. Can you talk about what you were thinking when Tavon Austin went Top‑10, what was going through your head?
GENO SMITH: I’m just proud for him. He deserves it. The guy works hard, is an extremely talented player and I think he’s going to do great things with the Rams.
Q. Last year you were the prohibitive favorite for the Heisman Trophy and West Virginia was making a big move in the Big 12, how do you evaluate what happened last year, and how much had to do with you and how much had to do with the defense?
GENO SMITH: Last season was one that was pretty much up‑and‑down for us. Started off hot. Obviously we didn’t do so well towards the end of the season. But you know, like I said it’s just a test of character and leadership and I think I handled all of those things well.
As far as offense, defense goes, it’s a team thing and the team wins and the team loses. It’s not a one‑man deal or a one‑side deal. So I would never put my defense down. It’s our job to score more points than the other team, and we didn’t do that on many occasions.
So just got to improve on it, continue to get better and just trust my coaching and work the same way I’ve always worked.
Q. When you walked on stage, you didn’t smile when you first got up there, it looked like you were ‑‑ what were you thinking?
GENO SMITH: I’m just that type of guy. It’s not that I don’t smile. It’s just that I kind of took that to heart, the things that happened yesterday. But I’m not going to sit here and say it’s something that I’ll use as fuel or extra motivation because I’m already motivated.
Just being in this position is one that’s a blessing for me, so I’m going to, you know, smile as much as I can, but at the same time, remember all the things that happened.
Q. It looked like when Roger came out and he put his hand out, you were like, no, no, no, I get the hug. Is that what happened?
GENO SMITH: I wanted to hug him. I didn’t know how to feel man. It’s just one of those things that you’ve got to go through and you never know what’s going to happen. But like I said I’m just extremely blessed to be here and extremely happy to be in this position.
Q. Did you view the Jets as a great opportunity from a quarterback depth start position standpoint?
GENO SMITH: Like I said all along, whichever team decided to take me and decided to bring me in as a guy, maybe a franchise guy, maybe a project, you never know how the situation may end.
But to be a Jet is a dream come true for me. I’ve been watching football my entire life and the Jets have one of the most storied organizations in the NFL, so I’m just elated and ready to get to work.
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