- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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New York Jets rookie Geno Smith has been scrutinized more than any quarterback in this year's draft. Over the past few months, Smith has been ripped by scouts, media members and draft analysts around the country for everything ranging from his physical skills to attitude and demeanor.
Some of the criticism may have been unfair in Smith's eyes, and some came off as downright personal attacks. But here is my advice to Smith: It's time to stop fighting critics with words and prepare to play ball.
Smith has a way of constantly going back and forth with his detractors in the media. He talks about critics in television interviews, print interviews and even addresses critics on Twitter. That's not a good practice if you plan to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL – especially in the media capital of New York City. It's a battle Smith is never going to win.
"I don't worry about what people say," Smith told the USA Today this week. "My skin is pretty thick."
Smith claims to have thick skin, but recently he's shown mannerisms of a thin-skinned quarterback. Smith didn't handle his draft slide to the second round very well, and he's still fighting with critics weeks later.
This is the time for Smith to prove he has thick skin by focusing strictly on his craft. Smith's only route to proving critics wrong is through touchdown passes and victories in New York, not by words.