MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A couple of days ago Geno Smith whipped out his cell phone or his iPad or whatever it is he uses to communicate these days and took to Twitter.
Just want to thank all those so called "experts" who say I can't be an NFL QB. Thursday will be a special day but the work has only begun
A bit snarky? Perhaps sarcastic or facetious?
Well, no. Not really.
For Smith it was genuine.
He really does appreciate it.
Yes, even the words of Nolan Nawrocki, the Pro Football Weekly writer whose review of Smith was so scathing that Sports Illustrated used the choicest of his words not only as the premise for a story, but as the backdrop for the artwork that went with it.
"A gimmick, overhyped product of the system.''
"Lacking football savvy [and] work habits.''
"Not committed or focused.''
"Will be overdrafted.''
Smith's initial reaction? Well, he and Jake Spavital, who coached him at West Virginia the last two years, laughed about it. A part of Smith also had to be upset, perhaps even enraged, although he never really showed it.
And here's the reason: It might have been the best thing that could have happened.
I know this because last October I had one of those very rare opportunities to get Smith alone for a few minutes. Put him in front of a camera - or, in his case, usually a bunch of cameras - and questions tend to be answered in cliches. He always said the right things, but they were the right things he was trained to say.
I got him alone because over the years one of the things that I'd learned about Smith was that he loved the underdog role. He relished anyone telling him or believing that he couldn't do something, and I wanted to know how he felt at that time.