Speaking with WFAN, Namath had this to say about Smith:
"I can’t evaluate Geno other than what I’ve heard from his coaches. 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)."And:
"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."Also:
"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."Namath has been very vocal on the Jets' quarterback situation, and recently said he sees promise in Geno's talent.
When taken as short soundbites, we get why there will likely be hoopla over the next few days about the often outspoken Namath's comments. But in the larger context it seems like this is more about Namath not wanting to to gush about Geno and using some unvarnished words. In contrast, Phil Simms has been quite complementary (TJB, June 27) of Smith, but then again Simms is a network broadcaster and has been much more politic over his career.
Geno had a tough rookie season, but we do think that there was a spark during the season that seemed to finally ignite down the stretch. There are some things that we've learned Geno can do well. First, he was a very effective deep ball passer. Geno was one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league when he put the ball downfield ... and consider that he did that with a much less talented receiver corps in 2013 than he will have in 2014. Second, Geno demonstrated an ability to use his feet to pick up yards when the play breaks down to keep the drive alive -- although it did take him much of the season to learn the timing of when to run and when to stay behind the line.
There's plenty more that Geno needs to work on, but it isn't as if we've seen nothing from him all along.