NFL.com, the league’s website, asked their panel of experts what rookie is under the most pressure this year, and Geno Smith one the vote, even though he hasn’t been named the starter yet.
“I believe New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith faces the most daunting spotlight, for a few reasons,” said Charlie Casserly, who was on the panel. “Not only is Smith entering a high-profile market in New York, he’s coming from a low-profile market in Morgantown, W.Va. Mark Sanchez, the incumbent starting quarterback, is coming off of two subpar years. Obviously, patience is wearing very thin with No. 6. Therefore, there will be pressure from outside the organization to play Smith. Finally, Smith has shown his inexperience in dealing with the media so far, and that only increases the heat.”
“I think the brightest spotlight will shine on Geno Smith in 2013,” said Akbar Gbajabiamila. “When Smith predicted the Jets would make the playoffs, he welcomed the one kind of pressure no quarterback really wants to see: the New York media blitz. The Manti Te’o saga will eventually fade, but a playoff guarantee in New York will follow a player for the rest of his career. Look at what happened to Vince Young, just for uttering the phrase ‘dream team.’
” We saw the amount of attention the “excited” Tim Tebow received as a backup to the struggling Mark Sanchez — and that was without any type of guarantee. It’ll be doubly intense for Smith.”
“Geno Smith faces a spotlight bigger than the one Commissioner Gordon shines in the Gotham sky to summon Batman,” said Jason Smith, making fun of Jets owner Woody Johnson, who quoted Superman the other day. “The Jets are the new Cowboys: good or bad, every slight movement they make is news. I know critics have been harsh on Smith over the past couple of months, what with his behavior at the draft, the bold playoff prediction and the decision to fire his agents. But this is actually a good thing for Smith. None of these issues will actually shape who he is. In fact, they’ll all be forgotten as he takes the field to try to win a rigged QB competition, with the team wanting him to seize the job from Mark Sanchez — just like Sanchez beat out Kellen Clemens in a rigged competition four years ago. It’s the “Circle of Life,” except this time, Rafiki is holding up Smith instead of Sanchez.”
Imagine if he’s actually named the starter, how much pressure he will be under.
So it’s unclear what these gentlemen are talking about. How can he be under intense pressure if he’s a backup?