It wasn't quite Joe Namath's Super Bowl guarantee, but Geno Smith's recent comments to the NFL Network will do for now.
The Jets have been looking for a replacement for Namath for four decades, something they've been unable to find through a myriad of high draft picks and marquee free-agent quarterbacks. While it would be premature to say Smith is the answer to “Broadway Joe,” he is at least beginning to sound like the bold and brash Namath.
“I feel good about our team making a Super Bowl run right now,” Smith told NFL Network. “We've got some really good additions. We're a young team, we're still growing [and] still learning. I think everybody has progressed. I know I've progressed in my second year. I think everybody is progressing. So why not us?”
The Jets haven't been to the big game since Super Bowl III when Namath was under center.
There are still a lot of concerns for the Jets, who were mocked early in free agency for their lack of additions but still rounded out the offseason with a number of solid talents, including 12 draft picks. Even if Smith's talk is bold, there is a reason to be confident the Jets have improved.
One of the big additions this offseason was former Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick, who has downplayed any competition between himself and Smith. Smith didn't play up the competition in his comments to NFL Network.
“It's a tremendous opportunity for me to learn from a guy like Mike,” Smith said. “It's really going to propel myself into the future as well as the team. Having a guy like Mike in our locker room — like I said, he's a veteran, he has a ton of experience. He's very wise, very mature. He supports me, I support him. In the quarterback room in our team, our morale is at an all-time high right now.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.