Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has made the most of his return to a starting job this season and he’s been steadfast about keeping his eyes on the present and future rather than thinking about opportunities that didn’t come his way in the past.
It’s a little harder for Smith to avoid thinking about his history this week, however. The Seahawks are hosting the Jets, who selected Smith in the second round of the 2013 draft and employed him as their starter until defensive end IK Enemkpali broke his jaw with a punch during a locker room altercation.
Smith would only start five games between that punch and the start of this season, but the veteran insists that he’s not adding any extra weight to this Sunday’s game because of his ties to the Jets. As Smith notes, the Seahawks’ attempt to advance to the postseason provides ample reason to make this week a bigger focus than what happened years ago.
“I just feel like the importance of it is that we need a win to get to the playoffs,” Smith said, via the team’s website. “Obviously, there will be some speculation and talk about that, it comes with the territory; it’s to be expected. I have a lot of love for the Jets, the organization and the people that are still there that were there when I got drafted. For me and this team, it’s business as usual, another week to prepare and a tough challenge for us to go out there and try to get this win. We need it.”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll also has history with the Jets. He was fired after going 6-10 in his lone season as the team’s head coach in 1996, but agrees with Smith that the past is “not a factor” for this weekend.