Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall sounded off about his potential new quarterback, Geno Smith, during Tuesday night’s episode of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” Darryl Slater of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
After Smith replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick in Oakland, where the starter was injured on the game’s opening drive, Marshall praised Smith. Marshall continued to support Smith on Tuesday during his regular “Inside the NFL” appearance.
“When did I get here [with the Jets]?” Marshall said. “April? May? Since that day, I’ve been a fan of Geno Smith. I’m going to stick to that. I love him. I’m proud of the kid.”
Marshall said it’s a “reality” that Smith can get the job done in 2015 as the Jets’ starting quarterback, if they need him. Marshall’s fellow panelist on the show, former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, disagreed.
“The perception out there is that he can’t do it,” Esiason said. “I believe that that perception does have a tinge of reality attached to it, because I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen some moments where he can throw the ball physically, but mentally, there are times where I just think he’s clueless on the field.”
“Now I’m not just going to take this stance because I’m his teammate,” Marshall said. “But you take a kid who hasn’t played all year and you throw him in that game, and look what he did.”
Esiason then brought up the whole IK Enemkpali incident.
“But [Smith] also got punched in the face by a teammate in the locker room,” Esiason said. “And we can’t forget that. That tells me volumes about what his teammates think of him.”
Marshall continued to defend Smith.
“Can we give a kid, a young kid, a second chance?” said Marshall, who had previously defended Smith for his role in the Enemkpali punch.
Esiason fired back.
“Well, he’s had like three different chances already, didn’t he?” Esiason said. “Geno’s had ample opportunities to really show that he can do it. He screwed up a major opportunity at the beginning of this year to play with what I thought would be his best offensive team.”