NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Geno Smith had an up-and-down rookie season for the Jets in 2013, but the quarterback is expected to take a step forward in his second season with Gang Green.
Despite the 23-year-old’s strong finish to the season, Hall of Famer Joe Namath is still unsure about the young signal-caller.
“I can’t evaluate Geno other than what I’ve heard from his coaches,” the legendary Jet told WFAN.com’s Peter Schwartz. “I don’t see anything outstanding about him. He’s not an outstanding passer. He’s not an outstanding runner. He’s good, but nothing jumps out at me with intangibles that I’m not aware of because I’m not there on an everyday (basis).
“I haven’t seen anything really extra special from Geno, and that’s not to be negative at all. The guy performed really darn well on a professional level against guys that were so much better than he’s ever played against. The upside of Geno is going to be strong. The upside is grasping his offense versus the defenses he sees.
“Just looking at him physically, what’s outstanding about his running ability? What’s outstanding about his passing ability? Nothing to me is outstanding about it, but it’s pretty good.”
In his maiden campaign, the West Virginia product appeared in all 16 games and completed 55.8 percent of his passes. He threw 12 touchdown passes and rushed for six more scores, but surrendered 21 interceptions.
As for the overall outlook of the team? Namath is optimistic.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “Last year, going into the season, I thought they could do well. I was hoping they could do reasonably well and the team developed nicely in areas that gave them a chance to win. The young quarterback improved throughout the course of the year. I hated to lose Austin Howard. I hated for that to happen. But bringing in (Breno) Giacomini, he’s got some experience. He’s a champion.
“He knows what it takes. That is big time for the offensive line. Brian Winters has improved. The offensive line has improved. The running-back core I really like, but you have to start up front with the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We’ll have to see how a couple of the younger guys develop to maybe get more pressure on the passer.”
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