NFL legend Michael Irvin was asked who he thinks is the most improved player in the league this year and he didn’t hesitate.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith.
“No doubt it’s Geno Smith. Hands down,” Irving said.
That’s awesome to hear if you’re Geno Smith. Although, being named the “most improved player” is a bit of a back-handed compliment. It says, “You used to be garbage, and now you’re not… as much.”
Irvin had a lot of praise for what Smith has accomplished this season, leading the Seahawks to a 6-3 record and the top spot in the NFC West.
“The best positive story in the NFL, and I keep telling people. I was telling them on ‘Inside NFL’ and even ‘First Take,’ but they don’t’ understand because they’re New Yorkers. Some people can do better when they get out of places like New York because New York, if you don’t serve them right, you’re gonna get that hate.”
Irvin Thinks Smith Is Benefitting From Playing Seattle Instead Of New York
As Irving went on to point out — colorfully — there are big differences between playing in New York and playing in Seattle.
“You could be getting you some street meat, and they’d be like, ‘Man, I hope that meat tastes better than you playing right now.’ They don’t leave you alone in New York.
“Over in Seattle, you could be out and about, and you’re the quarterback, ‘Hey, Geno, don’t worry. We’re going to get him buddy. We’re behind you. We love you.’ That stuff matters.”
And get the hate Geno Smith did. After less-than-impressive stints with the Jets, Giants, and Chargers, a lot of people didn’t think handing Smith the reigns to the Seahawks offense would turn out well.
But lo and behold, it has.
This season, Smith has a league-high 73.1% completion rate and has thrown for 2199 yards and 15 touchdowns.
It remains to be seen how he’ll finish out the year, but he’s certainly a great pick for “most improved.”
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