February, 18, 2014
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
Geno Smith prepared for the NFL scouting combine by working out with quarterback guru Chris Weinke at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. A year later, Smith is taking the same approach to his offseason.
The New York Jets' quarterback was seen Monday at IMG, working in a private session with Weinke, IMG's director of football operations. You probably remember Weinke as the former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State. Smith has been working with Weinke in recent days, trying to stay sharp and fine-tuning his throwing mechanics. Weinke also is tutoring Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft.
If you're a Jets fan, it's always encouraging to hear your quarterback is working on his own in an effort to improve. Smith "has come a million miles" from the start of his rookie season, Rex Ryan said recently, but it's obvious that he still has a ways to go. The Jets' offseason program doesn't begin until early April, so Smith is taking a proactive approach as he prepares for his second season.
At least he's not in New Jersey, stuck inside because of the winter weather.
A year ago, Smith went into the combine thinking he had a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. In an interview at IMG last February, he told USA Today, "I feel like I am the best" quarterback in the draft "and [given] what I've done up until this point, I do have a case for being the No. 1 overall pick."
Obviously, it didn't turn out that way. Smith fell to 39th, but he ended up starting every game. Now he waits as the Jets embark on an offseason in which they're likely to add a quarterback.