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from literal NFL punching bag to the Seahawks’ renaissance man

Photograph: David Reginek/USA Today Sports

Geno Smith, for most of his career, had been synonymous with the NFL’s most piercing curse word: bust. Heading into this season, even as he had quietly shown maturation on the field, no one bought into the Seattle Seahawks as a competitive franchise. There were several reasons – sloppy game management and unknowns at corner, among them – but mostly it was rooted in few outside Seattle viewing Smith as a legitimate NFL quarterback.

He continued to prove the doubters wrong on Sunday, leading the Seahawks to a 48-45 shootout win over Detroit on the road. Smith was electric. He annihilated the Lions’ poor defense, throwing dimes to DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Will Dissly. All told, Smith was 23-of-30 for 320 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also added 49 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Smith achieved back-to-back 300-yard passing games for the first time in his NFL career, a testament to Pete Carroll’s growing faith in his quarterback’s abilities.

Smith isn’t supposed to be here, still playing and winning games as a starter. His NFL career began with a thud: a star at West Virginia and once a potential top-10 pick in the 2013 draft, Smith fell to the New YorkJets in the second round at No 39 overall. Smith said all the right things about it not mattering whether he was the first pick or the 39th, that he was going into a good situation. He was not.

The Jets were at the tail end of Rex Ryan’s reign, short on offensive skill players and protection. Smith’s first two seasons produced 34 interceptions and just 25 touchdowns, and New Yorkers, not known for their patience, gave up on him. Whether it was a problem with the culture or the scheme (Smith ran the spread in college), he looked a long way from the next Joe Namath.

He may have had a chance for a fresh start when Todd Bowles entered the building in 2015, but then came the punch. A teammate, IK Enemkpali, walked up to Smith in the locker room…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/geno-smith-literal-nfl-punching-071501031.html?src=rss

Author : The Guardian

Publish date : 2022-10-03 07:15:01

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