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Joe Namath: 'Nothing to me is outstanding' about Geno Smith

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Joe Namath didn't sing Geno Smith's praises.
Joe Namath says 'nothing to me is outstanding' about Geno Smith. (USATSI)

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Joe Namath is a harsh critic of his New York Jets and a harsh critic of quarterbacks. So you know he's got plenty to say about Geno Smith heading into the quarterback's second year.

Speaking with Peter Schwartz of WFAN.com, Namath called Geno "pretty good" but said "nothing to me is outstanding."

"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]," Namath said. "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 reality, "pretty good" is a fair assessment of Smith through his first season. He wasn't outstanding as a rookie.

But who would be in that situation? Geno dealt with a high-pressure situation (starting for the Jets) and handled the scrutiny of stealing time from Mark Sanchez well. He didn't get much help at receiver or tight end, or even in the running game.

At times he made bad throws. But at other times he shone. It's far too early to make a concrete assessment on him as a future quarterback (although competing against Michael Vick won't help his immediate prospects), which is kind of what Namath did, just without the eloquence needed to avoid headlines and sound bytes pointing to his distaste for Geno.

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