It didn’t take long for Geno Smith to hear about the rip job from Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly, and it didn’t take long for a reaction.
After the report (from the same guy who lambasted Cam Newton for a “fake smile”) which criticized Smith’s work ethic, Smith took exception to the unnamed sources cited.
“It’s untrue in all things,” Smith told Jim Corbett of USA Today. “I heard about it [Monday] night when my quarterbacks coach called me to tell me about it.”
His old quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital, who now has Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, said Smith is a student of the game.
“I was laughing with Geno about it Monday night and I said, ‘Welcome to the business,”’ Spavital said. “I’ve been around Geno for two years. I thought he was one of the hardest-working quarterbacks I’ve ever been around.
“You have people who are about ‘What can football do for me?’ Geno is about ‘What I can do for football?’ If you take the game away from him, I think he dies. He is a dream come true for a coach.”
Of course, getting a former coach to defend for the record a player who has been criticized by an anonymous source isn’t hard.
Likewise, West Virginia wideout Stedman Bailey, who played with Smith in high school, scoffed at the report.
“I know first hand that Geno is one of the hardest working guys having watched how far he’s come over our years together,” Bailey said. “He’s a leader, a hard-working guy, a film junkie. He has all the qualities you’d want in a franchise quarterback. Any one looking for that, Geno is your man.”
Apparently, Smith isn’t the kind of quarterback Nawrocki is looking for, and neither was Newton.