Eight years after the last time he was a full-time starter, Geno Smith is back. at least for now. He is the starter for the Seahawks to start the season, the winner of a competition that coach Pete Carroll has said is not over.
Still, Smith would start the Week One game. Which also happens to mark the return of Russell Wilson to Seattle.
“I’m extremely excited,” Smith told reporters on Friday. “I really can’t wait. I’m extremely excited for this opportunity, but mainly just for everyone. For all of us to be out together and start our season. It’s extremely exciting. I know That everyone here is excited and personally, for me, I don’t feel any sort of retaliation or anything like that. It’s just preparation and doing what I’ve always done. [I’m] It’s not making more than what it is.”
However it goes, Smith has come a long way from the jaw punch thrown by former Jet linebacker IK Animekpali in 2015, which essentially ended Smith’s tenure as a starter in New York.
“I’m in my 30s now,” said Smith of how he has changed since he was the last starter. “I was 23, 24 then. The difference is now my focus is on keeping the football, making sure I am defending the football. At the time I was on the Jets, I thought I would have a good game and not have a good game. It was very inconsistent, and I think I was able to find some sort of consistency in my game and I think it started with my feet, my base in the pocket. Obviously, over the course of my career I am getting stronger and growing as just a man. And then just protecting football. I’ve watched a bunch of footballs. I know what I’m looking for. I’m the seasoned guy in the room now so I’m not the only kid when I first got into the league.
After two years serving as his backup, Smith inherited the job from Russell Wilson.
“I had a great time here with Russia,” Smith said. “I actually knew him a lot. I got to know his family. He got to know me. And one thing I would say I only took away from him his professionalism, the way he approached every day, his competitive fire. You know what kind of person he is on and off the field. I mean you can say a lot of excellent things about him. I really appreciated the time we spent competing together. We A group fought. You know it was in the classroom, in the weight room, on the field, and I think it made me better. And so just being around him and what kind of guy he is, the kind I learned a lot from him knowing that he prepares.
Smith said he took no time to consider becoming a starter again.
“There was no celebration or anything like that,” Smith said. “I went to the weight room the next day if I was going to do it anyway. And that’s just my mindset. I’m not a star hit or anything by this opportunity. I’m working my butt off and I feel like Work is more important than all reflection and all that sort of thing. It’s about taking care of business. And so obviously I’m grateful and grateful that I know I’m working for it, and I know There is still more work to be done.”
Smith had to work last year after Wilson suffered a finger injury on Thursday night against the Rams. By the end of the game, the crowd was chanting Smith’s name. During Wilson’s multi-week absence, Smith played well.
Now he has to play against Wilson.
“It would be a little naive to say you can’t stop it,” Smith said of Wilson’s impending return. “I understand everything going on around me. Russell was the guy here for a while and I know there will be emotions on both sides, but I’m not caught up in that. I can just focus on taking care of business.” I’ve been.”
We’ll find out in three nights if Smith can take care of the business.