New York Jets second-round pick Geno Smith has been criticized leading up to the draft and immediately after he was selected by the team, but his new head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t see the “diva” label that many have applied to Smith.
Ryan said that he has no idea where those reports came from and that he found out nothing but positive things about Smith as a leader and student of the game when doing his research on the young signal-caller.
“Maybe I don’t know what diva behavior looks like, but he certainly didn’t do it here,” Ryan said after the team’s first rookie minicamp, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s a football player that you can tell loved the game, very knowledgeable about his system. I never saw that at all.
“Anybody that you talk to at West Virginia will tell you that. He knew it. He studied it more. He prepared harder than anybody. That’s all, just be himself, that’s the big thing, he already knows how to do it. This guy has been playing quarterback and [has been] the leader of his football team for a number of years.”
Smith was hard on himself after the first practice session where he struggled, but Ryan had nothing but positive comments about his rookie quarterback.
Ryan saw Smith with a command of the huddle and an enthusiasm for learning. That is really all you can ask for in a young quarterback.
Whether or not Smith will ever pan out as a NFL passer remains to be seen, but his coach seems to think he is on the right path and there are no concerns that he has a good head on his shoulders and that he has what it takes to succeed as a passer in this league.