McAdoo: No Reason Geno Smith Can’t Someday Succeed Eli Manning

Also, Giants Coach Refuses To Rule Out Pursuit Of Adrian Peterson

 

PHOENIX (CBSNewYork) — As Eli Manning enters the twilight of his career, the chorus grows louder for the Giants to find his successor.

Perhaps Big Blue did just that last week when they signed ex-Jet Geno Smith.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL meetings on Tuesday, Giants coach Ben McAdoo said he doesn’t see why Smith, 26, can’t someday take over for Manning, 36.

“We’re a long way to go from there,’’ McAdoo said. “To me, Geno, you look at it, you study the guys coming out (in the draft), you study Geno, I think he’s right in the mix of one of the better players available this year.’’

Smith, a second-round draft pick in 2013, started for the Jets as a rookie, but turnovers and general enigmatic play limited him to just 30 starts over his first four seasons. Smith replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Jets’ starter in Week 7 of 2016, but then suffered a season-ending knee injury in that game.

MORE: Keidel: Giants Really Don’t Feel Like The Fresh Start Geno Needs

Smith finished his tenure with the Jets with a 12-18 record as a starter. Overall, he threw for 5,962 yards with 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. Last season, he completed 8 of 14 passes for 126 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

[graphiq id=”8e06rbqDFjv” title=”Geno Smith Career Passing Stats” width=”600″ height=”413″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/8e06rbqDFjv” link=”http://football-players.pointafter.com/l/19170/Geno-Smith” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

Despite Smith’s shaky four years with the Jets, McAdoo says he sees something there.

“I find it very exciting,” the Giants’ coach said. “A guy who has his skillset is hard to find. You can’t find guys out there that have that type of arm talent, the quick release, the throwing motion and the feet to go with it. And he’s a competitor. It’s exciting to bring a guy in and work with a guy like that. See where you can take him.’’

Smith will compete against journeyman Josh Johnson for the Giants’ No. 2 QB job.

AP to NYC?

McAdoo raised some eyebrows when he answered a question about whether the Giants might be interested in free agent running back Adrian Peterson.

“Never say never,” he said.

But don’t get too excited, Giants fans.

MORE: Palladino: Giants Must Resist The Temptation To Sign Peterson

While Peterson has publicly expressed his interest in playing for Big Blue, NJ.com reported Tuesday, citing a person with knowledge of Peterson’s situation, that the Giants were not interested in the seven-time Pro Bowler as of the Combine, and nothing has changed since.

ESPN reported last week that Peterson is looking for a contract that will pay him $8 million in the first year, although the seven-time Pro Bowler denied that was true.

Middle Men

When asked about middle linebacker, McAdoo suggested he’s leaning toward a platoon featuring newly re-signed Keenan Robinson and second-year man B.J. Goodson. Robinson would likely be used in sub packages, while Goodson would play in base packages, just as Kelvin Sheppard, now a free agent, did last season.

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