Unsigned free agent wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson wished NY Jets rookie Geno Smith well in his first Monday Night Football game via Twitter.
Johnson’s tweet read simply:
Johnson has yet to grace any team with his presence this season, and indeed has not been active in the NFL in some time. He knows, however, what it means to be under intense scrutiny by a national audience, and Johnson’s encouraging words appears to be well received by the tweeting public.
Smith faces the Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan in the Georgia Dome tonight in Atlanta, and the odds are stacked against the Jets rookie.
Ryan is 34-6 at home, a record beaten by only one other quarterback, retired legend Brett Favre with 35 of his first 40 home games won. The Falcons are in the hunt to snap a three-game losing streak. One can only imagine the nightmares they may be having, as they spent a long and painful six games straight in the Loss column in 2007. Ryan has a healthy Julio Jones at his disposal, and those two have the sort of symmetry one normally finds in art.
While he is a “nice guy” Ryan needs to bear down and get gritty with his opponents. The NFL field of play is no place for friendship. He also needs his O-line to take care of him. When Ryan is rushed, he tends to miscalculate his passes, resulting in three interceptions so far this year. All of those mis-cues occurred while Ryan was under pressure from the opposing defensive line.
New York Jets fans have been restless and want Smith to tighten up his performance. He has thrown for 1090 yards with four touchdowns but has only a 68.6 passer rating. This is due, in large part to the 11 interceptions he has to his (negative) credit since he took over for injured first string quarterback Matt Sanchez.
No changing of the guard is in sight, as Sanchez recently had season ending surgery on the shoulder that allowed Smith to take his place.
Smith is considered, ”tough” and tenacious but his lack of experience continues to plague his attempts to step into Sanchez’s veteran shoes. Favored receiver veteran Santonio Holmes is out due to a hamstring injury from last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans. While the offense may have been spotty, the Jets defense is solid, allowing on three yards per rush this year, leading the league.
Consistency, protection and patience are key to the Jets success. All of these traits must come together to form a perfect storm around Smith so that he can be encouraged to continue to grow as a player and a leader. If anyone knows what it means to be the center of a very small word, it’s Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, who wishes Geno success, “regardless of his surroundings.”
- While this is Jets QB Smith’s first Monday Night Football, it may be the last for Atlanta’s 17-year veteran Tony Gonzalez.
- Santonio Holmes is not the only one out from injury. Both teams have had to deal with key players going down this season, like all of the NFL.
Written by: Brandi Tasby