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Cortland – Brian Baldinger ripped Geno Smith for his conditioning after watching team running drills on Sunday. I saw something today that reiterates what he’s talking about.
Baldinger, from the NFL Network, was at practice on Sunday, and made this observation today on the NFL Network.
“Geno Smith looked like he had done no conditioning,” Baldinger said. ”It was actually embarrassing to see how far behind he was behind (Mark) Sanchez and (Matt) Simms and everybody else that’s there (in a running drill after practice).”
Before I read this today, I had jotted something down in my notebook during practice, along the same lines.
After practice, QB coach David Lee was doing some extra work with the team’s four quarterbacks – Smith, Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms.
They were doing a combination throwing-conditioning drill. The quarterbacks would throw a few passes at a target to test their accuracy, and then run to a fence, and back, a couple of times.
Sanchez, McElroy and Simms did the run with no problem. But Smith really struggled with it, and was clearly out of breath.
Lee yelled at him to run harder during the drill.
Then after Sanchez, McElroy and Simms left, Lee put Smith through some more gut drills to improve his conditioning.
So when I got back to my room to do some writing, and I went to NFL.com, and saw what Baldinger wrote, I was like, “man, I just witnessed the same thing.”
I had not noticed it on Sunday like Baldinger did, so I wasn’t going to practice today looking for it. I noticed it independent of that report.
This is a bad reflection on Smith. Think about it – he’s given a chance of a lifetime as a rookie, to be an NFL starting quarterbacks. There are only 32 of those jobs.
For him to show up out of shape is troubling, but it should not come as a surprise.
Nolan Nawrocki, who I think is the best draft analyst in the business, wrote in his guide before the draft, “Has approached off-season training as if he has already arrived and it shows in his body with minimal muscle definition or strength.”
Look, I think Geno has a lot of potential – he has a big arm and a huge upside.
But I think the Jets were too dismissive of the criticisms of the player before the draft. The concerns were real, and need to be handled.
I think one problem with Geno is pretty simple – what he thinks is hard work is nowhere near the hard work you need to put in to be a successful NFL quarterback.
I will say one thing about Mark Sanchez, while he has his shortcomings as a quarterback, the guy works his tail off.
He basically lives at the Jets’ complex – he’s a voracious worker. And by the way, he aced the running part of that drill I mentioned above. Mark’s in great shape.
Hey, Geno is just 22, he has a lot of room to mature and grow.
But the Jets can’t ignore his shortcomings, attitude-wise, quarterback-wise and work ethic-wise,
They need to take this talented ball of clay and work him into a viable NFL QB.
And he needs to totally buy in . . .
Both Sanchez and Smith need to read defenses better. In a short period of time during practice, Sanchez threw a pick to LB Josh Mauga and CB Darren Walls (underrated player who will help the Jets a great deal this year) almost had a Pick Six on Smith . . .
It’s just a matter of time – Antwan Barnes is going to block a punt this year – he’s amazing fast and quick coming off the edge . . .
The Jets’ tight end position has the potential to be outstanding this year – Kellen Winslow catches everything in site, Jeff Cumberland is a freak athletically who is on the rise, and Konrad Reuland is a terrific blocker and short-to-intermediate receiver. This is a very good group . . .
Pictured above is Chris Ivory in uniform. He was back at practice today, but did very limited work. The way Jets trainer John “Unchained” Mellody works is that he takes it a step at the time – you go from working with the trainers, to suiting up by doing very limited work, to suiting up and practicing. So Ivory is in the middle stage.
July 29, 2013
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