There was a loud and controversial scouting report about Geno Smith prior to the draft that he was not a hard worker. The Pro Football Weekly report, written by Nolan Nawrocki, came from his anonymous scouting contacts and yet was roundly disputed around the league — mostly by media members who were upset at hearing what they had not heard prior.
Although we're only seven games into Smith's NFL career with the New York Jets — and it has been a bit of a ride so far — the results have been impressive. Best yet: His teammates are responding to his work ethic, apparently. Smith and his teammates, according to the New York Daily News, are putting in extra time when they don't have to, on Tuesdays, their days off.
“Yeah I’d been talking to (Jets quarterbacks coach David) Lee (about) just ways to get guys interactive. Get everyone involved,” Smith told the Daily News. “I think guys are better at knowing their roles when we’re able to get everyone involved.
“I just felt it was something that we all needed to do. I talk about us being on the same page, and a lot of times that happens on the field, but I think the more time we spend together, the more they get to understand the way I think and vice-versa."
That's a great start. Players have Tuesdays off, but many will report to the facility to watch film on their own, get treatment for injuries or lift weights. Smith and the offensive players are putting in their own time together and have been doing so, the story says, for the past "two or three weeks."
This is a good start, and the Jets have to be thrilled about the results so far, rookie mistakes from Smith aside. He has had brilliant games, bad games and games that feature a mixture of the two. Hard work and continued progression should help smooth the path out towards true development.
We don't truly know if Smith was lazy or not a grinder at West Virginia. Some players skate in college and develop a work ethic in the pros. Some players have it intrinsically. What matters is what's happening now, and Smith has done nearly all the right things since being drafted.
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