Eight years after the last time he was a full-time starter, Geno Smith is back. At least for now. He’s the starter to start the Seahawks’ season, the winner of a competition that coach Pete Carroll says isn’t over.
Still, Smith will start the week one game. Which also marks the return of Russell Wilson to Seattle.
“I’m extremely excited,” Smith told reporters on Friday. “I really can’t wait. I’m extremely excited for this opportunity, but especially for all the guys. So that we are all together and our season begins. It is extremely exciting. I know everyone here is excited and personally, for me, I don’t feel any type of vindication or anything like that. It’s more about preparing and doing the same thing that I’ve always done. [I’m] don’t do more than what it is.
Either way, Smith has come a long way since the mind-blowing punch thrown by former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali in 2015 that essentially ended Smith’s tenure as a starter in New York.
“I’m in my thirties now,” Smith said of how he’s changed since he was the last starter. “I was 23, 24 at the time. The difference now is that I focus on keeping the football going, making sure I protect the football. Back then when I was in the Jets, I felt like I had a good game and a not so good game. It was very inconsistent, and I think I was able to find some kind of consistency in my game and I think it started with my feet, my base in the pocket. Obviously getting stronger in my career and growing as a man. And then just protecting football. I’ve seen a bunch of football. I know what I’m looking at. I I’m the veteran in the room now, so I’m not just the youngster I was when I came into the league.
Smith inherits the position from Russell Wilson, after two years of serving as his replacement.
“My time here with Russ was awesome,” Smith said. “I really got to know him a lot. I got to know his family. He got to know my own. And one thing that I would say I took away from him is just his professionalism, his way to approach every day, his competitive fire. You just know the type of person he is on and off the court. I mean there’s a lot of remarkable things you can say about him. J really enjoyed our time together competing. We competed a bunch. You know if it was in the classroom, the weight room, on the field, and I think that made me better. And so just being around him and knowing the type of guy he is, the way he prepares, I learned a lot from that.
Smith said he didn’t take the time to think about starting again.
“There was no celebration or anything like that,” Smith said. “I went to the weight room the next day if I had to anyway. And that’s just my mentality. I’m not starstruck or anything by this opportunity. I worked hard and I think the work is more important than all the thinking and all that stuff. It’s about taking care of business. And so obviously, I’m grateful and thankful to know that I’ve worked for, and I know there’s still work to be done.
Smith had work to do last year after Wilson injured his finger on Thursday night against the Rams. When the game ended, the crowd was chanting Smith’s name. During Wilson’s absence of several weeks, Smith played well.
Now he can play against Wilson.
“You can’t block that, it would be a bit naive to say that,” Smith said of Wilson’s impending return. “I understand everything that is happening around us. Russell has been the man here for a while and I know there will be emotions on both sides, but I’m not caught up in that. I’m just focused on taking care of business.
We’ll find out in three nights if Smith can take care of business.
#years #Geno #Smith #fulltime #starter #ProFootballTalk