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Todd Bowles on Geno Smith: Teammates ‘don’t hate’ him

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To say that New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles gave a less than ringing endorsement of new starting quarterback Geno Smith would be something of an understatement.

Smith of course has been inserted as the starter of the Jets’ Week 7 match-up with the Baltimore Ravens in lieu of the profoundly struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is well-liked among his teammates. When Bowles addressed the differences between the two signal-callers and their respective relationship with teammates … well, it came off as a bit … odd.

“It’s about production, and we’re not producing in certain areas,” Bowles said of the switch at quarterback, via NJ.com’s Connor Hughes. “This is football. They don’t have to be best friends. They don’t hate [Smith].”

Bowles did, however, go on to praise Smith for his on-the-field talents, perhaps in spite of how he apparently fails to inspire his teammates as much as Fitzpatrick does.

“He’s got great spunk in the huddle,” Bowles said. “He understands the game plan, and he practiced the whole spring. He has started in this league before. He has grown. He has spent a lot of rough years, but he has grown in this league.

“We’ll see if that transpires. He has the opportunity to do so.”

Bowles wasn’t the only member of the Jets organization to have something interesting to say about Smith as he takes over a 1-5 Jets team desperate for a win. Brandon Marshall, who has gone to bat for Smith a time or two in the past, said, apparently with no hint of irony, the following:

It’s unclear whether Marshall was making a reference to a profoundly embarrassing incident from Smith’s past or not. Regardless of Marshall’s intent, it was one amazing quote.

But hey, at least his teammates don’t hate him. That’s something.