Geno Smith looks like the real leader of the offense
Geno Smith did something most quarterbacks wouldn't have last year when he helped mentor his backup QB, Drew Lock. But part of the time Smith was helping teach Lock the playbook and get him used to the offense was also a time when Smith was still in a battle for QB1 with Lock. Smith likes to compete, but he also likes to pass along what he knows. That is the mark of a true leader.
Smith talked about his leadership method with NBC Sports this summer and he is 100 percent correct when he said
"Leadership doesn’t have a title. You’re either a leader or you’re not. Leadership, to me, it’s something I’ve been about my whole life. I just continued to do the same things, I haven’t changed anything. I’m working the same way, got the same process, same lifting schedule, and I’m gonna lead these guys the same way. And obviously there is a difference. I’m not naive. Guys will look at it different. But I think if they see you being the same guy all the time, they respect it a lot more."- Geno Smith
Smith's theory of what makes a leader great or not can be debated or not. But his awareness of how he handles himself is going to be watched carefully by other guys in the locker room, especially rookies and second-year guys, is key. A rookie quarterback might think they have an idea of how to prepare and be a leader in the NFL, but Smith knows what real leadership takes.
Plus, it was clear in 2022 that Smith's teammates believed in him. And that wasn't because Smith started off well and wasn't turning the ball over very much. That belief began with Geno Smith in the three years he was still a backup to Russell Wilson in Seattle. Once Smith got his chance to be QB1, there was a natural progression from the respect he had as a backup to the respect he received by being the leader of the offense.