Geno Smith's professional career got off to an inauspicious start when he lasted until the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. And then, after the Jets selected him 39th overall, things really went south. Smith fired his agent, and concerns about Smith's maturity again resurfaced from nameless, faceless executives.
"His biggest problem is that he doesn't know what he doesn't know," one front-office type told Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole earlier in the week. "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."
A few days later, an NFC scout told ESPNNewYork.com that Smith is "going to have a tough time in New York. Right now, he's coming off as a spoiled, pampered brat.”
“One of his perceived weaknesses is working through adversity,” an AFC personnel executive added after Smith fired his agent.
All this comes a month after Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki blasted Smith in his pre-draft scouting report as "Not a student of the game … Not committed or focused -- marginal work ethic."
At the time, Nawrocki was criticized for what amounted to a personal attack against a 22-year-old. Weeks later and it's open season on Smith. It all seems like piling on at this point, but then again, these are the Jets, where NFL quarterbacking dreams go to die.
Ultimately, Smith can quiet his detractors by winning football games. First, he'll have to beat out Mark Sanchez (and his new Carol Brady hairdo) for the job. If Smith can do that -- and, honestly, that'll be the easy part -- he can then go about proving his doubters wrong.