After years of serving as a backup quarterback, Seattle Seahawks signal caller Geno Smith is experiencing a breakout season.
With a 31-21 victory against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9, Smith has won as many games this season as he had as a starter in the previous seven years combined.
It’s safe to say that coaches are taking notice — even coaches that aren’t in the NFL or, for that matter, football.
After yet another impressive performance from Smith on November 6, Iona men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino took to Twitter to express how excited he is for the Seahawks quarterback and the lessons that can be learned from his success.
“26-34 passing – really happy for him. Everyone is always in a rush,” Pitino tweeted. “It takes time n practice to reach one’s potential. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.
“Go get ’em Geno!!!!”
Smith took the time to respond to the famous college basketball coach.
“Thanks Coach! Big fan of yours.”
Everything Coming Together for Smith in 2022
Quarterbacks taking years to develop into stars used to be a regular occurrence. Terry Bradshaw and Jim Plunkett struggled for years before winning multiple Super Bowls.
Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning combined to win just 3 games during their rookie seasons, and then they both went on to Hall of Fame careers.
But generally, NFL teams don’t utilize the same patience at quarterback as they used to. That was the case with Smith early in his career.
In his second season, the bottom fell out for Smith and the Jets, as he posted a 3-10 record with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He lost his starting job and has served as a backup quarterback for four different teams since then.
But this season, Smith is proving Pitino to be right about how it sometimes takes time to reach one’s potential.
Smith came into the week leading the NFL in completion percentage. He also had 13 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions and a career-high 8.2 yards per pass average.
Against the Cardinals, Smith was outstanding again despite throwing a pick-six. In fact, how Smith responded after the mistake was what was so impressive.
Smith led the Seahawks on three touchdown drives after his pick-six. He finished Week 9 going 26-for-34 with 275 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also had 38 rushing yards.
With his Week 9 performance, Smith has recorded a 100-plus passer rating in six games this season. That’s the most among NFL quarterbacks in 2022.
Smith’s Fan Base Growing
With Smith experiencing a breakout season, his fan base is hardly just arguably the most controversial men’s basketball coach in history.
First, Smith won over his teammates and then the Seattle fan base with Seattle’s 6-3 start.
Smith is now winning over the national media too.
With their 6-3 start, the Seahawks sit alone in first place of the NFC West, and their next matchup with a team that has a winning record will not come until Week 15 on December 15.