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Geno Smith knows rookie QBs no longer have time to grow

Geno Smith AP

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith hopes he can work himself into the mix for the top pick, and he thinks he can adjust to any NFL system.

But he knows that things got tougher for him and the rest of the rookie class based on the success of last year’s quarterback class.

Asked Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine about the bar being raised by Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Smith said it makes his job harder.

“Those guys changed expectations for many quarterbacks, let alone rookies,” Smith said. “Those guys stepped right in, including Russell [Wilson] and were leaders most of all from day one. And that’s the one thing I took from it. No matter what age difference, where you come from or what pick you are when you’re taken for that role as a quarterback in the NFL, you have to lead by example. That’s the thing all those guys did.

“They set the bar very high. I want to be one of those guys that step in and do the same thing.”

Toward that end, Smith stressed his leadership and versatility. He’s not the mobile quarterback some people want to make him, but he thinks he could run some read-option if he was asked.

“I played in three different systems in college,” Smith said. “I’ve also played in the read-option system. I had to adapt because coming out of high school, I had no say in that system. So I had to adapt to it. I think that’s something I’ve always been capable of.

“I think I have the skill set that fits any offense. I can play within the pocket but I’m athletic enough to run that style of offense. . . .

“I have the ability to [run read-option]. I don’t think that’s my game. I don’t think my game is predicated around that. If a coach wants me to, I’ll definitely be all for it.”

While the nature of people crafting lazy comparisons will have them making Smith something he isn’t, he invoked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady when asked about his game.

“I’ve always watched Tom,” he said. “He’s always cool, calm and collected in the pocket, not the most athletic guy, but he makes subtle movements while keeping his eyes down the field and that’s something I try to incorporate.”

Of course, Smith has a long way to go before being compared to Brady, as getting past the Lucks and Griffins and Wilsons of the world will be hard enough.

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17 Responses to “Geno Smith knows rookie QBs no longer have time to grow”
  1. kc571 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:21 PM

    Comparing what he said to Barkley. Barkley said he’s not a runner, but he’s also not a statue. FWIW, Barkley wins in the personality contest. Barkley also went on to say he’s a traditional QB, no read option.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 22, 2013 4:26 PM

    While his height, arm length, and hand size were unremarkable, Geno was quick to emphasize his exceptionally long thumbs for the position.

  3. citizenstrange says: Feb 22, 2013 4:32 PM

    He’d look good in Black and Gold!
    GO STEELERS!

  4. bartlettruss says: Feb 22, 2013 4:38 PM

    I think Geno Smith is a bit of a sleeper in this draft. He did a lot on a not very good team in college. It will be interesting to see what NFL coaching can do for this kid.

  5. strahan92 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:51 PM

    Reminds me of Donovan McNabb…throws low and I to the ground. Aim for the hands, not the feet!!! Unimpressed

  6. fuglyflorio says: Feb 22, 2013 5:00 PM

    Relax … you’ll run a college style option offense exactly like you’re used too … and with a little luck you’ll make it through a few years. Hopefully not just one like that poor sap RG3.

  7. seankp822 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:15 PM

    get em Geno!

  8. qdog112 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:20 PM

    Geno Smith is the best QB in the draft, by far. In several games he had more TDs than incompletions. He has a great arm and exceptional footwork. It will surprise me if he is passed over by KC.

    After Smith, you have E.J. Manuel, Glennon and Barkley.

  9. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Feb 22, 2013 5:22 PM

    I’ve been pretty impressed with Geno’s mental acumen. He comes off as intelligent and mature. I’m also a fan of anyone who says they play the game like it’s a chess match. I don’t think 1st overall would be too high for him.

  10. cutlertomarshall says: Feb 22, 2013 5:44 PM

    Not a fan of Geno at all! He acted like a baby when they were losing a lot in college and doesn’t deserve a first round choice.

  11. jprcox says: Feb 22, 2013 6:05 PM

    Geno is a “forced” star this year simply due to the lack of good QBs and the success of the read-option offenses.

    To talk about Geno going the 1st overall pick is NUTS. I dont even think he is a 1st rounder, but if he is still around at the bottom of the 2nd, Chiefs will take him since they need a QB. However, look for a trade between KC and Seattle or SF for either of those backups. That would be wiser.

  12. CKL says: Feb 22, 2013 7:26 PM

    Kid sounds like he has his head on straight. Good start.

  13. buffalobills716 says: Feb 22, 2013 7:31 PM

    Geno Smith,u won’t be wearing the number 12 in Buffalo,but I say,welcome to Western New York

  14. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 22, 2013 8:10 PM

    When they asked Geno if he considered himself a sleeper pick for #1 overall he said “No, my eyelids just naturally droop like that. Even when I’m wide awake.”.

  15. married2anfladdict says: Feb 22, 2013 8:47 PM

    Geno is a great QB and I was hoping WVU could keep the momentum that they had going the first half of their season last year. Chiefs, Jets, Jacksonville, Bills would be lucky to have a player like Geno! I think we get caught up in the first rounders…

  16. bkh405 says: Feb 22, 2013 10:49 PM

    Is it ironic that your SN is ‘cutlertomarshall’ and you dog this kid for being a pouter and a poor sport? Or is that a case of coincidence? I always get those two mixes up.

  17. cranespy says: Feb 23, 2013 6:58 AM

    Fine young man, intelligent, played for 3 different coaches in 3 different systems on a team with NO DEFENSE. Learned early on to handle adversity…..went from Media Darling to afterthought this past season. Will make a good NFL QB…..best scenarios…..Steelers, Cowboys or Packers. Serve as an apprentice and move up in 3-4 years.

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