A few days ago I was chatting with my KFFL brethren and said that
I felt New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was throwing up one red flag after
another about his maturity. I noted that maybe Smith was mentally weak or
immature ... I wasn't precisely sure and couldn't put a finger on it.
It started with several instances of him pouting on the sidelines
at West Virginia when his team was down big, but that is easy to misconstrue.
Body language can be tough to read, and everyone reacts differently in the face
of adversity. I allowed that stuff to slide.
Then, he criticized talent evaluators and pundits on the eve of
the NFL Draft. That, alone, is not out of the realm of understandable. Prospects
feel an immense amount of pressure leading up to the NFL Draft without having
to hear their faults from every direction on television, the radio, and across
the Internet. However, every highly rated or heavily scrutinized prospect does
not respond in the manner in which Smith chose. His reaction was telling.
Yet another QB mistake
The final straw was Smith firing his agents. A quote from an
eye-opening and yet affirming article by Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole sums up my
feelings in a clear way.
"His biggest problem is that he doesn't know what he
doesn't know," said a league executive, who spent extensive time assessing
Smith before the draft. "I'm not sure he knows how to take instruction
because he pretty much wouldn't listen or talk to our coaches … he's talented.
He can sling it, he can fit it into tight spots, he can do a lot of things and
I think he wants to be good. But you can't tell him anything right now. He's
tuned out because he thinks he's got it all down."
Does it get much more damning than that?!?!
If Smith cannot handle the simple criticisms of his game, his
fall out of the first round, and being behind in a game without responding in
an immature manner, why should I believe he can hold up to the rapid New York
media? Simply put: I don't, and he won't. That market requires a strong leader,
something Mark Sanchez is not, which has been part of his downfall.
The Jets' brain trust made a mistake, and it is going to setback
their franchise even further for another few years. On the bright side, he
won't cost them a lot of money. I'd rather spend a little more now and not deal
with a team going in reverse, any day of the week.
The irony of the situation is that the Jets team hasn't learned
from the Sanchez experiment, and Jets fans attending the draft largely were
happy with this ill-conceived selection.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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