WVU offensive coordinator defends Geno Smith

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As Jets quarterback Geno Smith prepares for his first series of NFL practice sessions at the team’s rookie minicamp, one of the guys who presided over the offensive practices at Smith’s most recent stop is defending Smith from criticism.

“I never got the sense he was a diva or pampered or anything in my involvement with him,” West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson told Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I never had one problem with him other than he watched too much film.”

Before the draft, Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly skewered Smith.  After the draft, Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com published critical quotes from anonymous sources regarding Smith.

“He’s going to play for a long time,” Dawson said this week. “I think the Jets are going to be more than happy that they have him.  He’s going to work his [butt] off. It’s almost a positive for the Jets organization because if everything would have went smooth and he had been picked in the top five he probably wouldn’t be as motivated as he is right now.

“In my talks with him after the draft, he’s so fired up right now to prove this [jerk] wrong that he’s going to work and do it.”

Compounding Smith’s problems is that his camp didn’t launch an aggressive counterattack in response to Nawrocki’s scathing scouting report.  And with Smith firing his agents only days after the draft, he had no one in place to attempt to change the narrative and alter the perception arising from the Yahoo! Sports and ESPN reports.

Perception in this context is key.  His reported plan to leave the draft (ESPN reported it, Smith has denied it) after the first night fueled the perception that he can’t handle adversity, for those who already believed that.  His decision to fire his agents in the wake of the draft fueled the perception that he’s inclined to externalize blame.

In fact, we’ve (I’ve) been criticized, primarily by those who tend to look for reasons to criticize us (me), for pointing out the connection between Smith’s reported plan to leave the draft and the reaction from those who already have a dim view of him.

It’s a reasonable at worst, dead-on 100-percent accurate at best interpretation of the impact of the behavior on the opinions of those who believe the negative things reported about Smith.  Those who think I’m biased against Smith, who played college football at West Virginia University, apparently aren’t aware of my Mountaineer connection.  (I grew up in West Virginia, went to law school in Morgantown, live 30 miles from the school, and attended every home football game that I can.)

What I wrote about Smith after the first round of the draft contained the same advice I would have given Smith if he were my client, friend, cousin, nephew, or son.

Good advice is what he and every young player (and every young person) needs.  Here’s hoping that Geno Smith gets it from everyone around him, and that he heeds it.

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16 responses to “WVU offensive coordinator defends Geno Smith

  1. No one has done more to build this kid up and tear him down than you, Florio. You’re connection to WVU and hatred of the Jets has turned your view of him and his situation into a perfect storm of stupid.

  2. Show ’em on the field Geno like you did against LSU in 2011. Every player on that LSU defense is in the NFL and Geno ripped them for 463 yards.

    That other crap by Nawrocki is manufactured BS. The man is clearly biased against black QBs. Smith will prove Nawrocki to be the fool that he is.

  3. Ok, well….none of it matters. Hasn’t even started his career yet, and if he plays well none of this will matter. Although I can’t think of a worse situation for a rookie quarterback to go into than the New York Jets right now.

  4. …”if everything would have went smooth and he had been picked in the top five he probably wouldn’t be as motivated as he is right now.”

    So, basically, it took a little humble pie to knock him down and realize that he’s not all that and a bag of chips. Hopefully in the future he will not need humiliation to be motivated to be great..

  5. everything us ram fans have heard from Austin and bailey seems to indicate geno was a great teammate whether he or they for that matter succeed at the next level remains to be seen geno gets a good opportunity in the worst place to have to show his skills I for one wish him well

  6. Talk, talk, talk. The Jets didn’t draft him to talk, but to quarterback football games. I’ll wait to see his skills on the field, before I criticize him again.

    Unless that is, he, runs his mouth without anything meaningful or relevant coming out.

  7. Wow…Has Geno played a single down yet?

    Can’t we at least wait until he snaps a football inthe NFL before will kill, prop-up, then kill him again, Florio?

  8. we all know the story here….jets draft him it’s a mistake, he’s a bum, nobody can play in ny…blah, blah, blah…but if the giants or ravens etc drafted him they would be geniuses and he would be a great kid waiting his turn. bug off, the lot of ya

    oh, and watchout now…idzik just ensured a great offensive and defensive line for at least a few years…gotta funny feeling we’re not gonna be nearly as bad as you all think

  9. Well,,if he wasn’t all screwed up before he got to the jets,,,it won’t take long now.

    If he’d gotten drafted by Seattle, AZ someone like that…no one would care, and he’d just be another failed 1st/2nd rounder, and almost 1/2 fail.

    But, going to the jets,,,one of NFL’s most historically futile franchises…guy has zero shot.

  10. Only people more disappointed than Smith’s former agents are Rex and Idzik. They now realize what a mistake this was to draft this goof. Just like LEAF, going small town to NYC will never work.

  11. Qdog=Warren Moon. Go read Nawrocki’s comments on EJ Manuel.

    I haven’t seen close to enough evidence that Smith fits what Nawrocki said, but that OC sure seems to be damning him with faint praise with that “being more motivated now than if he was a top 5 ” comment. Either that or the guy is slamming Sanchez, who was a top 5 . 🙂

    Other than the playoff guarantee, I haven’t heard Smith himself make any comments that show a bad attitude or bad judgement. Just because he was visibly upset sitting there in the green room doesn’t mean anything. Rodgers and Quinn were upset also.

  12. I get the impression that Geno is one of those talented players that can become very successful in the right environment or on the other hand, become a problem child in the wrong environment. It really could go either way.

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