Select Sports Group has not only not done any favors for the Jets Rookie QB, they, and some others in the media who should know better, have served to plant an idea in the minds of some pea-brained, no-nothing, can’t read so-called football observers that Geno Smith has a bad attitude, and can’t possibly be ready for the NFL’s level of passing attack he will have to run.
The attack on Geno Smith was started by the standard group of football evaluators who come with a massively large set of prejudices that add up to a fear of smart black guys. Geno Smith is that smart black guy. The latest is a run of African American QBs that, if racial prejudice were suddenly eliminated, would be described as the future passers of the NFL.
Consider that in 2011, 65 percent of college quarterbacks were African American, but there were only six NFL starting quarterbacks. Today, 2013, there’s Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Josh Freeman as starters and as backups Charlie Bach, Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon, Terrell Pryor, Tyrod Taylor, Seneca Wallace, Thaddeus Lewis, Joe Webb, Tarvaris Jackson.
And now, EJ Manuel and Geno Smith enter the NFL, and you can see that the trend is changing. Moreover, I did not add QB’s of Latino heritage, like Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez. Well, OK, I just did.
It’s because of this increasing list, forced by the advent of a generation that doesn’t have the same racial baggage of their predecessors, that we see a media habit of downplaying the talents of black quarterbacks entering the NFL.
This has been an ongoing problem, most recently marked by the totally made-up evaluation of Geno Smith by a guy named Nolan Nawrocki, who wrote “Operated an offense where he received adjustments from the sidelines and was often out of sync with receivers. Average field vision and coverage recognition — forces throws and does not work through progressions.”
That’s nuts, and flies in the face of reports like this one from Lisa Horne last fall about Mr. Smith:
For the Air Raid to work at its optimum level, the quarterback needs to make quick decisions when he comes to the line. A quarterback who has to look to the sidelines for adjustments gives the defense time to adjust as well. Geno Smith is making the adjustments himself which is indicative of his mastery of this offense.
Let’s repeat that: “Geno Smith is making the adjustments himself which is indicative of his mastery of this offense.”
So, I ask you, where the hell did Nolan Nawrocki get that from? Easy. He made it up. Nawrocki even committed the cardinal, racist, sin of comparing Smith to two other black quaterbacks without saying they’re black: Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks.
Then Nawrocki added this statement which telegraphed that he had massive issues which blocked him from a real, true, evaluation of Geno Smith: “Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities.”
The Geno Smith devaluation started with Nolan Nawrocki, and Smith’s agents at the time did nothing to stop it. Press release on Smith’s accomplishments? Nope. Video and social media attack on Mr. Nawrocki? Nope. Nothing. Zip. Nada.
The guys Smith hired as agents were just coasting. They were tone deaf to the crits, in large part because they had similar issues with him, as well.
Then, when he fired them, Select Sports Group just turned around and piled on, and in total violation of NFLPA rules.
Truth: there’s nothing wrong with Geno Smith, so please, cut the crap.