Seahawks QB Geno Smith: ‘I believe that I am a starter’

Joe Fann
NBC Sports Northwest

Competing for a job is old hat for Geno Smith.

He competed to be a Day 1 starter for the New York Jets in 2013 after being the 39th-overall pick in that year's draft. The last two seasons he battled to be Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers' backup with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers, respectively.

Now Smith is going toe-to-toe with Paxton Lynch to be the Seahawks No. 2 quarterback behind Russell Wilson.

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"I've got a lot of confidence in myself," Smith said on Friday. "I know I can do a lot of things on the football field."

The lumps Smith has taken over the years, he says, have helped in his maturation process. The embattled veteran knows his career has been anything but smooth sailing. Unfortunately, most NFL fans know Smith as the guy who got his jaw broken by a teammate over an alleged financial dispute in 2015. He's never been a full-time starter since that infamous incident.

That's not how any player wants to be remembered.

"I hit a rough patch early one, but I found myself in those moments," Smith said. "I became a stronger man and a stronger person and a smarter quarterback."

Smith has made 31 career starts and appeared in 40 games overall. He's thrown for 6,182 yards, 29 touchdowns and 36 interceptions over the course of his six seasons. Smith signed with Seattle as a free agent on May 15 and cited the Seahawks culture as the right fit for him.

Still only 28 years old, Smith hopes winning the backup job in Seattle will get him one step closer to his ultimate goal: regaining the reins of an NFL offense.

"I believe that I am a starter, I just need another opportunity," Smith said. "But right now I just need to take advantage of what I can control, which is every day out here executing and leading the guys."

Even though Smith has been noticeably better than Lynch through the first week of camp, Pete Carroll remains steadfast that no decision will be made until the bitter end of the preseason. Smith is taking the approach that the job is already his.

"You always come out with the mindset that you're the starter," Smith said. "You're always one play away. You have to be really sharp with your reads and understand the offense as well as the starter does. When you go out there you have to execute the same way."

Seahawks QB Geno Smith: I believe that I am a starter originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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