Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Friday WVUPros in the NFL Column: Geno Smith regaining trust

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith looks on during the Jets Organized Team Activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith looks on during the Jets Organized Team Activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

This week, I have updates on four WVUPros, including Geno Smith, J.T. Thomas, Daryl Worley and Nick O’Toole.

Geno Smith, Jets – With the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick at an impasse in contract negotiations, Geno Smith has been QB1 through the team’s OTA’s and minicamp. His performance thus far?

“He’s light years ahead of where he was at this time last year,” head coach Todd Bowles said this week.

Smith’s current role makes Gang Green apprehensive (for good reason), but the star WVU QB knows he has to regain their–and his teammates’–trust.

“I have to prove that every day to my teammates, but I do have confidence always,” Smith said Tuesday. “I notice guys do have confidence in me as well. I think they have expressed that. My goal as the quarterback is just to continue to lead these guys, score points and do whatever we need to do to be a good team and a good offense.”

Nick O’Toole, free-agent – After going undrafted, the mustachioed punter has tried out for several teams, but currently finds himself unemployed. Usually, there’s not a lot of movement among kickers among teams during this part of the year. After teams go on their six-week summer vacation, that’s when front-offices start to see who is out there that might be a good asset for their team when training camps begin in early August.

“Right now, just waiting til after OTAS and the break then hopefully going to get a call for a camp invite,” O’Toole told Joey Lomonaco of the DP Post this week. 

Daryl Worley, Panthers – How does a rookie corner make an early impression? How about making a diving interception on a long pass down the middle of the field by defending NFL MVP Cam Newton on one of the first plays of Panthers minicamp?

That’s what Daryl Worley did. Good job rookie. (Of course, he then gave up a TD before that.)

J.T. Thomas, Giants – The Giants’ defense was decimated by injuries last season, and J.T. Thomas was one who missed some time. The team held the WVU linebacker out of minicamp with what they termed “a leg injury.” They didn’t specify which leg or what part, but said it was something that “popped up last week” and that he should be ready for training camp.

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