Geno Smith is really starting to grow on me.
But because he says some really amusing stuff ... like, "I've shown flashes of being a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback."
Granted, there's more to what Smith recently told Newsday than just that. And putting his statement in its proper context -- "I've shown flashes of being a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, but what we're looking for here is consistency. The best teams have consistent quarterback play and I realize that" -- shows that the former West Virginia standout hasn't completely lost his mind.
Still, where exactly were these flashes? Well, there was the fifth game of his rookie year, when Smith completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a QB rating of 147.7.
I'd say that qualifies as one flash. But it was the only time he had a rating over 100 and one of only three times out of 26 NFL starts that he's thrown for more touchdowns than interceptions.
After starting all 16 games last year, Smith ranked 37th in passer rating (66.5) and 35th in completion percentage (57.8) among NFL quarterbacks. He's played in 11 games this year, after briefly losing his starting job to Michael Vick, and has improved ever so slightly to 34th in QB rating (68) and 31st in completion percentage (57.8).
There are quite a few guys to climb over before Smith is even close to Pro Bowl status. But it's good to keep a positive outlook.
Speaking of which, Smith had another great quote the other day when talking about the 2-11 Jets (thanks to Dom Cosentino of NJ.com for pointing out this gem):
"It's almost exciting to think about all the room for improvement that we have."
Like I said, Smith is really growing on me.