GenoCoaster wasn’t worth the price of admission for Jets

Starship 7 Enterprises boldly tried to go where no quarterback had gone since man last walked on the Moon before getting lost somewhere in Deep Space.

Geno Smith’s bizarre four-year trip through the Jets cosmos is over.

The mercurial signal caller’s season-ending ACL injury will effectively end his tenure with the team that drafted him. He’ll be a free agent after the season. Unless the pencil pusher who selected Smith in the second round returns to Northern New Jersey, this quarterback won’t be back with the Jets.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s struggles opened the door for Smith, who started his first game Sunday since the 2014 season finale. His grand re-opening last 1 ½ quarters before getting hurt on a second-quarter sack by the Ravens.

Although Smith said after the game that he “was begging to go back out there,” the organization feared the worst. Team medical personnel administered a manual laxity test on Smith in the locker room before making a preliminary determination that the player had likely suffered a torn knee ligament. An MRI on Monday confirmed it. It’s impossible to know the extent of meniscus damage, if any, until surgery.

“It sucks,” Brandon Marshall said. “It sucks for Geno and it sucks for our team. But this year has been filled with adversity.”

In the cut-throat, bottom-line business of football, Smith was a wasted draft pick, an erratic player not worth the headache.

Jets quarterback Geno Smith is sacked by Ravens linebacker Matt Judon.

Jets quarterback Geno Smith is sacked by Ravens linebacker Matt Judon.

(Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports)

The GenoCoaster wasn’t worth the price of admission. The ups were far outweighed by the downs on and off the field. Smith never cultivated his talent, leaving some to wonder whether he had maxed out as a player.

Rumblings of Smith’s curious disposition wafted through league circles in the run-up to the 2013 draft. He rubbed some team executives the wrong way by appearing disengaged in pre-draft meetings. He left the green room on draft night as he slid out of the first round only to be coaxed back the next day by friends and family. John Idzik scooped him up with the 39th overall pick.

Idzik oversaw a rigged quarterback competition that summer between Mark Sanchez and his guy before Sanchez’s season-ending shoulder injury in the second half of the third preseason game against the Giants ended the debate. Smith showed flashes in two years as a starter, but struggled with consistency. He was a turnover machine.

Smith finished 12-18 as a starter with 28 touchdown passes, 36 interceptions (43 turnovers) and a 57.9 completion percentage. He was the epitome of subpar.

The quarterback infamously missed a team meeting in San Diego in 2014, because he was confused by the three-hour time change on the West Coast. He was benched due to poor play against the Chargers the next day, prompting players to privately question his professionalism and leadership.

Veteran players on that team felt Smith was entitled and arrogant. They believed that he had a false sense of bravado to mask his insecurities.

His actions always spoke louder than words that never rang true. Just days after Smith threw a mini-tantrum after Fitzpatrick’s end-zone interception in Arizona last Monday night, the 26-year-old tried the ol’ “it’s not about me” routine that fell on deaf ears.

Smith desperately tried to be a leader without having the foggiest idea how to do it. It became painfully obvious to veterans on those teams. He gave canned public comments. He bristled at fans (see: “F—you” incident at MetLife Stadium) and airline attendants. He embarrassed himself in other well-chronicled ways too.

He fired his agents after the draft because he reportedly felt that he should have been the No. 1 overall pick. He joined Jay Z’s Roc Nation to grow his brand. Instead, he melted in the New York crucible.

He lost his starting job last year when I.K. Enemkpali broke his jaw in a locker room dispute over money.

Immaturity has been the soundtrack of his career.

Smith isn’t a bad person, but he rarely took responsibility for his transgressions. It was always somebody else’s fault. Or a misunderstanding. Every time he said that he had learned from his mishaps, another one materialized.

Ultimately, he just wasn’t a good enough player or leader.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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