Former Jets linebacker Bart Scott believes quarterback Geno Smith is going down a dangerous road he will likely never win.
Scott, a former star with the Jets for four seasons and currently an analyst for "The NFL Today" on CBS, is concerned with the current situation involving Smith.
Smith blamed the media on Monday in part for the topsy-turvy year, saying comments have been “misprinted and then misunderstood.”
Smith has unraveled in recent weeks. He cursed out a fan as he exited the field following a loss to the Lions in Week 4, bristled in an exchange with the media a few days later and then missed a team meeting in San Diego last weekend. Now he's blaming the media.
“It's both immaturity and frustration,” Scott told Metro New York Tuesday. “As a quarterback, if they were winning, no matter how they are playing, then he would get all the credit. He has to understand how to roll with the punches. He needs a mentor, someone to tell him that he can't say that. I mean, ROC Nation, he needs to talk to his agent and realize that he's damaging his brand. What young guys need to understand is that there are so many of these starting jobs. Realistically, you've got only five or six of these starting jobs for the next five to 10 years. Most of these spots are locked in so you have to grab hold of any of these opportunities and take what comes to you.”
Smith is one of only two starters in the NFL with more interceptions than touchdowns this season, and ranks last in QB rating. This comes after the final month of his rookie season when the Jets went 3-1 and Smith appeared to address the turnover issue.
The return through six starts this year for the 1-5 Jets are not encouraging.
As a former player now in the media, Scott sees Smith's comments as a potentially dicey situation.
“It is dangerous. If he remains at quarterback, he's going to have good times, he's going to have tough times,” Scott said. “He has to speak to the media every day, and that's a burden in and of itself. You can make one comment and it kind of brands you with a scarlet letter. Geno has to understand on a highly emotional and young team that this is a different media market. He needs to understand how to play the game. When I got [to the NFL], I had to deal with the Baltimore media and the Ray Lewis situation, the Terrell Suggs situation, the Jamal Lewis situation. I learned. If I said something kind of brash and crazy, it wasn't reported as much, it wasn't as widespread going to Pro Football Talk or whatever. He needs to understand the environment and the world he lives in. It goes out there.
“We've spoken about them three straight weeks on the show now. It's the New York media market.”
Scott called the New York media “thorough.” In 2012, he went through a blackout of his own with the local media at a time when the Jets season was falling apart and there was increased scrutiny.
“If Geno doesn't get it right, you can find yourself being a career backup for the rest of your life,” Scott said. “Just ask Mark Sanchez. It's going to take something drastic to happen for him to take another opportunity to be a starter.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.