A year after getting punched in the face, Geno Smith is finally breaking his silence.
Smith was socked by IK Enemkpali, a former teammate, reportedly over money. Enemkpali was promptly dropped by the New York Jets (and later picked up by the Buffalo Bills), and Smith’s career trajectory had suddenly changed. He went from being lauded in training camp, to having his jaw wired shut, and back-up quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 season. Suddenly, all the attention the 25-year-old had earned was shifted to Fitzpatrick.
On the anniversary of the punch, Smith spoke to ESPN‘s Rich Cimini about the fateful event.
“Every day I’m pissed off until I get my job back,” he said. “Until I’m a starting quarterback, I’m pissed off every day. That’s my mentality, that’s my competitive nature. I want to win so badly, deep inside of me. I’m not pissed off at anyone, but I do believe I’m a starting quarterback in this league, and I believe I can do great things.”
Smith is a free agent after the 2015-16 season and will probably be released by the Jets. But he’s not worried because other quarterbacks have been down on their luck and then suddenly rise to the occasion.
“If you look at the history of great quarterbacks, from Joe Montana being picked late to Tom Brady being picked late to Steve Young and what he faced in his early years to Kurt Warner … I mean, all those guys — Troy Aikman — struggled in the beginning,” Smith said. “But somehow, they continued to press on and got better.”
Read the rest of Cimini’s in-depth piece on Geno Smith here.
SOURCE: ESPN | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty
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