I’m a few days late on this, but the story really never gets old. After all, how often does an NFL starting quarterback get his jaw broken by a punch delivered by a player on his own team? That’s exactly what happened to Geno Smith of the New York Jets last week.
Smith’s brief NFL career has been a challenging one thus far. He was a college star an West Virginia, and some thought he might end up being the top overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. That was not to be, as he actually fell all the way to the beginning of the second round, where New York Jets G.M. Mike Idzik selected him and said he would compete with incumbent Mark Sanchez for the starting job. His rookie year was marked by poor performance, a fine for cursing at fans, missed meetings, and benchings. Many called into question his maturity and leadership.
Despite all that, it was still a stunner to hear that linebacker I.K. Enemkpali, a second-year linebacker on the lower end of the roster, punched Smith in the face in the locker room last Tuesday during a dispute about money Smith owed him. The fact that he did this, combined with the fact that no one on the team stepped in before it escalated to that point, would appear to confirm the questions about Smith’s leadership position on the team. There is no way a well-respected guy ends up in that position.
To top off the story with a big smile (at least for me), former Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who currently holds the same position with the Buffalo Bills, picked up Enemkpali off the waiver wire just one day after the Jets cut him for the altercation. It was expected that the former Louisiana Tech player would be unemployed for a long time, if not permanently, as far as the league is concerned. Ryan, ever his father’s son, surely got a kick out of signing the kid.
There is little I like about Smith as a player or as a leader. It sounds like I am not alone.
Latest posts by Alan Spoll (Posts)
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