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Geno Smith calls out 'coward' Rex: 'I saved his job'

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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After completing his first full game as a starting quarterback since 2014, Geno Smith made time in between recapping the New York Giants' loss and praising the benched Eli Manning to call out his former coach, and one of his recent detractors, Rex Ryan.

"I did see one of my ex-coaches say he didn't want me to be his quarterback. That really upset me," Smith told reporters in Oakland. "I saved his job in 2013. We fought our ass off for him both years. For him to say that shows how much of a coward he is."

Smith was responding to comments made earlier this week by the former Jets coach and current ESPN talking face.

"Good for Geno, but I don't understand it," Ryan told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. "Eli Manning has been a hell of a player in this league a long-ass time. He's one of the most durable guys in the history of the sport and started a million games in a row. He's why you got all those Super Bowl rings. For him to go out like this is odd. It's bizarre."

As Jets head honcho, Ryan drafted Smith in the second round of the 2013 draft. After then-Jets starter Mark Sanchez was sidelined for the season following a bizarre preseason injury, Smith was thrust into the starting role, one he kept for two seasons.

At the end of the 2013 season, Smith led the Jets to three victories in their final four games, including a 20-7 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, after which New York announced, to the jubilation of the locker room, that it would keep the embattled Ryan around for another season. Ryan was canned the following year, after a dismal 4-12 campaign, and Geno's contract expired after the 2016 season.

Smith was inconsistent at best for the Jets and a turnover machine at worst. He left Gang Green in the offseason with a 57.9 completion percentage, 35 total touchdowns and 53 giveaways as the franchise's quarterback. Smith signed a one-year deal with the cross-stadium Giants in the offseason and replaced Manning this week after he was unceremoniously benched by team brass.

This back-and-forth would have been A1 backpage news two seasons ago, but now it just reads as petty former co-workers hashing out their unresolved issues through the press and living in the past. Moving on...

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