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Geno Smith laughed at being ranked last (again) in QB poll: ‘It’s hilarious’

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For the second straight year, Geno Smith found himself in last place in a poll conducted by ESPN of NFL executives in which the presumed starting quarterbacks for the upcoming season were ranked. To hear it from the New York Jets quarterback, the news is more amusing than anything.

“I laugh at that. I laugh at it. It’s hilarious,” Smith said of his ranking as the 32nd of 32 starting quarterbacks, via the New York Post.

While the results of the poll are merely an academic exercise and have no real impact on Smith’s future performance, it’s not like Smith has provided any tangible reason to be ranked any higher. In his first two NFL seasons, both as a starter — save for when he was benched and replaced by Michael Vick last season — Smith has compiled an 11-18 record in 29 starts, and overall has a 57.5 percent completion percentage while throwing for 25 touchdowns to 34 interceptions, with 41 turnovers total.

It’s noted in the report that Smith, upon learning of his dead last ranking last year, told ESPN that he expected to be ranked among the top-five  starting signal-callers either this year or the next. His prediction didn’t come anywhere close to fruition.

“It was hilarious last year, too,” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter at this point. We’ve got to work on us as a team. That’s why I hate to talk about individual stuff because it’s a team game. No matter what they rate me, wherever we finish at the end of the year is most important.”

Smith has put in the work this offseason, even working with Tom Brady’s quarterback guru, who said the quarterback appeared “incrementally better” afterward.

Arguably contributing to Smith’s struggles up to this point is the fact that throughout Rex Ryan’s tenure as Jets head coach, quarterbacks rarely seemed to be set up for success, no matter the identity or pedigree of the offensive coordinator.

It will be up to Smith to turn all his doubters into believers. Perhaps working with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will serve Smith well. Teammate Willie Colon already has warned Smith not to “crash” the team, so the  pressure is already on the young QB.