New York Jets general manager John Idzik and coach Rex Ryan made it clear to quarterback Greno Smith that they won’t tolerate behavior that embarrasses the franchise.
“No, I don’t view any free passes,” Idzik said, via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “We hold our players to a high standard — on the field and off the field. That’s part of acting like a Jet. It’s not only playing like a Jet, it’s acting like a Jet. Everyone understands that.”
Smith was recently involved in an altercation with a flight attendant at Los Angeles International Airport. Virgin America issued a statement, apologizing to Smith for “a misunderstanding that regrettably escalated unnecessarily.”
Before that, an Atlanta woman posted a lewd photo on Instagram that she said was the quarterback.
“When you’re a quarterback in the NFL and you’re a quarterback for a franchise in a big market such as New York, all eyes are on you 24/7,” Idzik said. “I think Geno is experiencing this first-hand. Obviously, I’ve kept in close contact with him. This is part of learning how to deal with these things.
“We’ve addressed them, he’s addressed them, so [I have] no real concerns that way. It’s just how to deal with your celebrity and the visibility that goes along with that position.”
Smith, who started every game in his rookie season, acknowledged that he spoke to Ryan about being under intense scrutiny.
“Rex basically explained that he and I, because of the position we’re in — head coach and quarterback — we’re looked at differently,” Smith said. “I understand and I knew that prior to the conversation, but it’s always good to get more light from him. He was understanding, so it was all good.”
Smith said it won’t be hard for him to stay out of embarrassing situations.
“It’s not a big deal,” he said. “I just have to continue to do things that got me here, which is be myself. I’m not a trouble maker, I’m not a bad person and I don’t do things that get me in trouble.”