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Jets owner: Geno has the skills, but depends on desire

  • By Andie Hagemann
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Ryan Fitzpatrick led the New York Jets to a 10-6 season in 2015 -- the team's first 10-win season since 2010. Fitzpatrick dazzled with his in-game heroics and likely will be back for the Jets in 2016 -- so where does that leave Geno Smith? Does Smith have the makings of a franchise quarterback?

"I mean, that's up to the eye of the beholder," Jets owner Woody Johnson said per ESPN. "But he has all the skills. It is a question of what his desire is. And from what the coaches told me and from what I have seen myself, I think he has matured a lot. And he is working on his game and he knows he's a professional and he has the ability if he sticks with it."

Every game, all season

Smith suffered a broken jaw after he was punched by then-teammate IK Enemkpali in the locker room during training camp. Johnson said he supported how first-year head coach Todd Bowles handled the situation.

"I kind of agreed with everything that has been said by the coach," he said. "It is one of those things that you never want to have, that kind of violence in a locker room. I think we dealt with it. Todd's instincts were correct. He got rid of the player immediately and addressed that."

Smith did get reps under center after Fitzpatrick suffered torn ligaments in his thumb in the team's Week 8 loss to Oakland. In his first and only outing of the season, Smith went 27 of 42 for 265 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception.

"Geno, I think, had a pretty good year," Johnson said. "We will see in the summer how he (does) but I think the coaches are pretty optimistic about what he has learned and maturity. We know he can throw a ball. I think he has taken it to a new level and we will see how it plays out."


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