NFL

NFL AM: One More Chance For Jets QB Geno Smith?

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Will Geno Smith Get Another Shot?

As we currently stand on May 9th, the New York Jets are resigned to having embattled quarterback Geno Smith targeted as their opening day starter when the team takes on the Cincinnati Bengals in four months.

And four months from now it may just stay that way.

Do the Jets want Smith to start another game for them?  Probably not.  They all but gave up on him last season after E K Enemkpali broke his jaw with a training camp punch.  The job was then given by default to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had a productive year, helping the team along to 10 wins.

With Fitzpatrick’s camp saying that he would rather retire than play for what New York is offering, it may come down to Smith once again, auditioning for a starting job, eventually for some other team.

The Jets clearly don’t believe in Smith, and he shouldn’t have much confidence in them.  Even when he was “the future,” the team stripped him of weapons and set him up for imminent failure. A new front office came in who didn’t draft him and since they’ve drafted a quarterback each year, using a fourth-rounder in 2015 on Bryce Petty and then a second-round selection on Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg.

Everything that we’ve heard out of Jets camp clearly says that Hackenberg is their long-term plan.

“I definitely needed to hear from him and hear what his thought process was and how he went through changing cultures and different coordinators in a system,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “He was forthright with everything, he understood that he has things he needs to work on, he acknowledged the coaching changes and he tried to do well in both systems. He admitted that he had some bad games but he also had some very good games, so I was very impressed with the way he presented himself.”

Once again, where does that leave Geno?

Smith has had a tough go of it, and when the team finally acquired weapons for him to succeed, trading for Brandon Marshall and signing Eric Decker, he was punched right out of a job.

With Petty not looking like an NFL quarterback and Hackenberg likely not ready to take over the reigns, this is likely Smith’s final shot to show that he can be a legitimate starter, even though it likely won’t be in New York.

Of course, that is if Fitzpatrick decides to stay away and actually retire.  If Fitz comes back, Smith will either be relegated to bench duty or given his outright release.

To sum it up, Geno Smith’s future is dependent on whether Ryan Fitzpatrick has enough money acquired to live the rest of his life on.

The Dumbest Rule of Them All

The National Football League has plenty of rules that can make one scratch their head when pondering them.

Excessive celebrations.

What is an actual catch?

Why do eight players have to be inactive on game days?

The rule that makes the least amount of sense applies now, as rookies can only spend a limited time with their new team and at their team’s facilities if their academic calendar runs into June.

What?

They’re professionals, right?

Even if these young men have graduated, or dropped out of school, they still have to abide by their FORMER university’s calendar.

This is currently affecting former UCLA turned Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who is saddened that he has to leave the Packers immediately after their mini-camp.

I wish I could stay here,” Clark said, via ESPN. “I leave on Sunday. I wish I could stay here throughout the whole process, but I think that will probably be one of the more difficult parts — that I won’t be here with the team.”

Not only is Clark an adult, but he’s no longer a student a UCLA.  If guys are going to leave school to turn pro, let them be professionals.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack is facing the same issue.  Still, he’s enjoying the time with his new coaches and rookie teammates while he can.

“It’s been fun,” Jack said. “They’ve been taking it slow with me. Like I said, I’m the only one there so it’s a lot of one-on-one time. They can really get to know me and feel me out and everything and see how I learn. It makes it easier for me because I can figure out what the line is doing, what every one behind me is doing and even the other linebacker positions. So it’s a cool fit, man. I’m just glad to be learning the defense and find my niche.”

Missing a few training sessions and a few mental reps is not going to torpedo any of these draft picks rookie seasons, but that’s not the point.  The point is that this is a completely useless rule and the NFL should be a completely separate entity from college football and should have nothing to do with academia.

Raiders Draft Evaluations Uncovered

In one of the most interesting things on the internet this week, a Scouting Evaluation Book from 2010 for the Oakland Raiders was discovered. 

Normally, these things are guarded with lives and are top secret, but some of the documents shared in here give the fans and media a peek inside to a very interesting process.

To touch on a few points, the Raiders, an organization that has been laughed at for much of the paste 15 years, have absolutely nothing to feel bad about.

  • Starting at the quarterback position, the team had Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen as the top two players in what proved to be a really weak class.  Most of the evaluations have proved to be pretty dead-on and there were obvious injury concerns for Bradford, and personality and arm strength concerns for Clausen.
  • Tim Tebow was the seventh-rated quarterback behind the top two, Colt McCoy, Mike Kafka, Sean Canfield and Tony Pike.  Again, not wrong.
  • The Raiders appeared to be crazy about safety Earl Thomas when this scout says, “He does everything you want to see in a safety; He has no limitations.  He is a very productive football player.” Unfortunately for the Raiders, they passed on Thomas and selected Rolondo McClain, who many were high on.  Back in 2010, the safety position wasn’t deemed quite as important as it is now, although Thomas is helping change that.
  • The top four tight ends on the Raiders board according to this scout were Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Gresham, Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t see the actual scouting report on Hernandez which would have been interesting.  This particular scout had him with a third round grade.
  • There was a scouting report on Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.  It says he’s “a possible beast” and didn’t address any off the field concerns, which is interesting because I know of an AFC team that had him of their draft board entirely.
  • Bryant was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the class with a second round grade, along with Demaryius Thomas.  Antonio Bryant was his 27th ranked receiver.

For true football geeks, this is a fascinating find.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.