Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Geno Just Takes It in Stride

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Geno Just Takes It in Stride

Article excerpt

FLORHAM PARK - Hey, Geno Smith, you've been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. How do you feel about that?

"I feel about the same," Smith said. "I don't feel any different at all. Hopefully you guys [reporters] understand me when I say, no disrespect or anything, I'm definitely happy with the way we played, and for the recognition, but it doesn't make me feel any type of way."

In what has been a roller-coaster season for him, the Jets' rookie quarterback maintained his trademark calm Wednesday, two days after he threw three touchdown passes and led the Jets 55 yards in the final 1:54 to set up the game-winning field goal in the upset of Atlanta. It was his first turnover-free game after 11 giveaways in the first four weeks.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin, whose winless team will visit the Jets on Sunday, was at Smith's Pro Day at West Virginia during the spring. And he noticed Smith's calm demeanor.

"He struck me as a guy who was very even-keeled emotionally," Tomlin said, "somewhat of a flatliner. I think it lends itself to that position because of the roller-coaster ride that people can have [and] teams can have. I just think his personality is geared toward delivering in those [crucial] moments."

"I mean, that's just how I am," Smith said, not raising his voice, naturally. "My mom thought it was weird. I never really got [excited] on Christmas when I was a kid. That's just how I was all the time."

So what does excite you, Geno?

"Life. I'm big on life," he said. "Waking up every morning excites me."

Smith and his teammates could wake up tied for first in the AFC East on Monday if they knock off the Steelers and New England loses to unbeaten New Orleans. But Smith likely wouldn't find that very exciting, either.

"It's just who I am," he said. "Some guys are different, but I'm always going to be the same guy, win, lose or draw. …

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