Geno Smith will enter the 2016 season with an especially large chip on his shoulder.
It appears the New York Jets quarterback once again will play second fiddle after the team re-signed starter Ryan Fitzpatrick on Wednesday. Fitzpatrick’s return likely means Smith once again will be No. 2 on the QB depth chart, and Smith had a pretty strong reaction to the news.
“I’m not disappointed. I’m kind of pissed off, but it’s not a detrimental thing,” Smith said Thursday, via ESPN.com. “It’s not something where I’m pissed off at anyone, because we all want to be in there. … This just adds fuel to the fire, but not in a negative way.”
Smith is a competitive person, so his anger is understandable. The 25-year-old had a rough 2015 campaign, missing a good chunk of the season thanks to last August’s infamous jaw punch incident and appearing in just one game. He’s also realistic, admitting that his best chance to get on the field might be somewhere other than New York.
“It’s no disrespect to anyone, but I’m auditioning for this team and 31 other teams in the NFL,” Smith said. “The way you handle all of this says a lot about your character. I’ve got little kids back home (in South Florida) seeing how I react. Everyone will watch to see how I react. I’m not going to allow this situation — because it’s not the worst situation I’ve been in — to deter me from my ultimate goal.”
Smith appears to be saying the right things. But the fourth-year QB, who has a career 57.9 completion percentage and 27 touchdown passes to 35 interceptions, will need to step it up on the field if he wants to land a starting job, in New York or elsewhere.
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images