In year two the Jets expect to see Geno Smith take a big step forward. The early indications at camp seem to be promising, and Smith himself has seen a night-and-day change from last season to how he feels entering this camp. The second year pro is displaying the confidence and maturity that Jets fans hope to see from their young quarterback.
It was always going to be a concern how Geno Smith would recover from the trial-by-fire of his rookie campaign, but his confidence appears unaltered. Speaking at training camp, Geno Smith addressed his confidence level coming into this season.
“My confidence is always high, I think you guys know that by now,” noted Smith. “Coming into this year, I am a lot more confident in my reads and my footwork, and delivering the ball a lot stronger and a lot more accurately so all good signs of progress, but we have a long way to go; I have a long way to go. We just have to keep working.“
Smith attributed this increased confidence and comfort to his work both on the field and off it in the film room and studying, claiming the game is finally slowing down for him.
“The game is slowing down a ton, and that’s just a direct effect of studying that film, staying in that film room, staying on my playbook, I hate to talk about myself because it’s a team thing, I understand that the quarterback position is very vital for the success of the football team, so my progress is just as important as any,” noted Smith. “I just got to keep working at it, keep trusting my guys, keep trusting my coaches and it will take care of itself.”
For a player whose head was spinning for all of last season, the progress shown in processing information efficiently at the NFL level is a big step forward. Of course the real challenges have yet to come, but Smith seems a player ready to be relied on by his teammates and to take control of the team through leading by example. Amongst other things, it may be Smith’s maturity in willingness to prove himself to his teammates and denying himself any titles such as the Jets being “his team” that is most impressive.
“You know, I don’t look at it like that,” admitted Smith. “I love the confidence that my guys have in me. That’s what it’s all about. I work hard, I just work hard, (and) I try to stay a gym rat. I don’t let anything else affect me. Not even those positive things, because I look at it as you just got to keep working, you have to keep getting better, you can never stay the same. So. I am going to work extremely hard to try and help myself as well as this team.”
There will definitely be more bumps along the way, but the right attitude and Smith’s even-keel mindset has certainly caught his teammate’s attention. He has the right demeanor, now he’ll have to translate it into more consistent performances.