BUMP AND STACY
Seahawks QB Geno Smith talks new deal, improvements, more on Seattle Sports
The Seahawks took care of a massive piece of business this week, inking Pro Bowl quarterback Geno Smith to a three-year extension.
Which former Seahawks starter is most likely to return in free agency?
On Thursday, Smith joined Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy to talk about the new deal, his relationship with the Seahawks’ coaching staff and much more.
First off, when the deal was agreed to, did Smith have a moment for himself to reflect on the contract and his journey in the NFL?
“Honestly, no. I was working out and kind of taking phone calls and was in between sets and it was a hard workout, so I didn’t really have a ton of time to celebrate,” he said.
Additionally, Smith felt this deal was for more than just himself.
“This moment is for my family. It’s for all the fans, all the Seahawks fans, all the Geno Smith fans, people who have been rooting for me my entire career,” he said. “But for me, man, I’m just focused on the business and looking forward to winning a bunch of games for the Seahawks.”
Smith has been with the Seahawks since 2019, and he got to start three games for Seattle and play a half of football in another game in 2021 when then-starter Russell Wilson injured his finger. Smith played well in that span, which kickstarted his Pro Bowl campaign in 2022.
“I remember that night, that Thursday night when Russ got hurt. And to be honest, he didn’t want to come out that game,” Smith said. “He kept going back in and I kind of had to tell him, ‘Hey, man, this is kind of my time. I’ve gotta go out there right now.’ I kind of felt that in my spirit, just the entire year, that something was gonna happen. And so when I got that opportunity, I just wanted to go out there and play ball.”
Smith said the most important thing is winning, and the Seahawks went 1-2 in his three starts in 2021, but he felt he played well overall. He feels even better after his 2022 season.
“I felt good out there, so I knew that I could improve and get better, and I still feel that way,” he said. “As long as I continue to improve, I think the sky’s the limit. I’m only 32. I’ve got another 10 to 12 years in this league, and I’m wanting to get better every single year.”
Smith was one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in yards and touchdowns, and he led the league in completion percentage in 2022.
He’s working to be even better in 2023.
“We’ve already done a bunch of self scouting, I’ve done individual self scouting myself. I do it every single year, and it’s great to actually have a full season of game tape to go off of. But yeah, I’m open to improving in every single way,” he said. ” … We hit some rough patches (later in the season) and overall, we were a pretty good offense still even with those rough situations. For me, I think about us getting better as an offense and as a team, and it’s gonna take everybody self reflecting. We’ve all got to be open and honest with one another and find new ways to get better because this season, nothing we did last season is going to matter. Everyone knows what we can do now, so teams are going to be prepared for us, and we’ve got to be that much more prepared.”
Smith didn’t write back
Week 1 opened with a bang for the Seahawks as Smith helped Seattle beat Wilson and the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
After the game, Smith told a reporter that “They wrote me off, I ain’t write back, though.” On Thursday, he told Bump and Stacy how that comment came to be.
"They wrote me off, I ain't write back though."@GenoSmith3 has had a long journey to get to last night's unbelievable win. When the moment came, he was ready for it. (THREAD ⬇️) pic.twitter.com/Qx1rCHmKYZ
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2022
“Just off the brain. The question kind of caught me off guard,” he said. “She asked me like, ‘What do you say to the people that wrote you off?’ And I was like kind of taken aback because I didn’t really know what to say, and I just kind of flipped it. It turned out to be a great thing. Everyone loved it, so that was cool.”
Relationships with Carroll and Waldron
Being a quarterback, Smith works closely with head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. He talked about his relationship with both of them on Thursday.
“Coach Carroll and I, we’ve always had a great relationship,” he said. “I remember when I was on the Chargers (in 2018) the year before I got here, we played the Seahawks in the preseason and I ended up throwing a touchdown to Mike Williams on the right sideline on a go ball. And then we played (the Seahawks in Seattle in the regular season) and I got to speak to Coach Carroll before the game, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, you just stay on the sidelines. We don’t need you out here today.'”
Before coming to the Seahawks in 2010, Carroll was a legendary college coach at USC. Smith said hearing that kind of praise from Carroll really meant a lot to him.
“It’s kind of a dream come true just to be coached by him. And I tell him that all the time and he doesn’t like when I say that, but it really is,” Smith said. “When I was a backup, we would communicate on the sideline, and when I got my opportunity to start, our communication, it grew. But his demeanor and the way that he coaches us never changes. He’s got a great relationship with every single player on the team, and that’s what I think makes him such a great coach.”
With Waldron, this will be his third year in Seattle. For Smith, it’s the first time in his career that he’ll have the same offensive coordinator for three seasons in a row.
“With Shane, man, since the day he got here, we’ve hit it off, man,” Smith said. “He is an incredible coach, an incredible person. He understands how to run an offense, he understands how to put players in positions to succeed, he’s innovative, he’s willing to try new things, and that’s what we love about him.”
Smith said Waldron gives Seahawks players “a say so” in the offense.
“He allows us to come up with ideas and he actually calls them and he’s not afraid of whatever happens after it,” Smith said. “So when you have a guy who has confidence in you and the guys around you, you don’t question what he says or anything that he presents to you because you know that he’s genuine and he has your back. To be with him for a third year now and a second year with actual playing time, I think it’s going to help us out tremendously.”
Drafting a QB?
Smith’s deal can keep him in Seattle through 2025, but the Seahawks have the No. 5 pick in this April’s NFL Draft thanks to the Wilson trade with Denver. As such, some think Seattle could draft a quarterback to learn under Smith. Both Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said that’s on the table.
What would Smith think if that were to happen?
“I know that if that conversation needed to be had, Coach Carroll and John would have that conversation with me,” he said. “But I know that they know that the type of player I am, the type of teammate I am, it doesn’t matter who it is. Whether it was Drew Lock, whether it was Russell Wilson or Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, I’m going to try my best to help that person, that player, be the best that he can be.”
Smith said ultimately the best man should win the starting spot, and he believes in himself. That being said, he’s still going to help all his teammates, regardless of position.
“I’m gonna help all my teammates be great, including myself, and hopefully they will do the same for me because I think that all breeds excellence and competition brings out the best in everybody. So I don’t see why not,” he said. “I’m going to compete regardless, and I’m gonna have that chip on my shoulder regardless. I’m never going to feel complacent. I have to continue to work hard, I have to continue to grow. Whoever they draft, whether it’s another quarterback or any position, I’m going to help that player be the consummate professional but also be a great player because that’s my job as a leader and a quarterback.”
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