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WVU coach says 'leadership' comment wasn't about Geno Smith

Jets quarterback Geno Smith talks with reporters during

Jets quarterback Geno Smith talks with reporters during training camp. (July 31, 2013) (Credit: Hans Pennink )

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Turns out, Geno Smith was a leader at West Virginia.

At least, that's what his former head coach Dana Holgorsen is saying now.

According to Bruce Feldman of CBS, Holgorsen was incredulous to hear media reports that said Smith’s leadership had been knocked.

“Geno was one of the only real leaders we had on the team in 2012,” said Holgorsen, adding that the media misinterpreted his comments the other day. “People in media are trying to read between the lines or add two plus two and they’re wrong." 

Interestingly enough, Holgorsen and several of his players said last week that leadership was the one thing missing last year -- when Smith was their starting quarterback and Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were two of their top receivers. 

“We have to develop leaders,” Holgorsen said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It was a big issue on last year's team — in a bad way.”

“What's different this year is we're more a team,” junior offensive lineman Quinton Spain said. “There ain't no I's. We don't depend on nobody. We just depend on all of us at once as a team. So I think this year will be better than last year." 

Smith, however, wasn't mentioned by name.

When told Smith’s former West Virginia teammates had taken veiled shots, Jets coach Rex Ryan jumped to his quarterback's defense Monday, saying: “It tells me I’m glad my kid never went there. Tell you that much.

“I don’t get that,” added the coach, whose youngest son, Seth, is a walk-on at Clemson. “Geno was a tremendous player for West Virginia. I don’t know. You have to ask them. I certainly don’t get that. When somebody leaves your deal … I guess that’s up to them, you’d have to ask them.”

Tags: jets , dana holgorsen , geno smith , west virginia mountaineers

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