Geno Smith will be right in the middle of some of the biggest stories for the Giants this season.
Not because of anything he does, but because of where he is.
The backup quarterback’s locker is situated in the tight area between those of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.
While it’s certainly a good spot for talking strategy and going over details with his teammates, when reporters gather en masse around those two players, Smith’s real estate suddenly becomes trampled.
“I get the ambush from both sides,” Smith said on Monday.
He got his first small taste of that on Monday when Manning spoke to the media in front of his locker. That group fanned out mostly in the direction away from Smith and settled in front of rookie quarterback Davis Webb’s locker on the other side of Manning. There is a small buffer area without any lockers that serves as a bit of a barrier between Manning and Smith.
Not so for Beckham, whose locker is right next to Smith’s. Beckham generally draws an even bigger crowd of lights, cameras and recorders than Manning, and certainly should this week due to an ankle injury that has cast some doubt on his availability for Sunday’s game. He is expected to speak either Wednesday or Thursday.
Smith said he is prepared.
“I may have to get some security or put a rope around my area,” he joked.
Ryan Nassib, last year’s backup quarterback, used to have Smith’s locker. He often would have to time his trips there to get dressed or fetch personal items around the schedules of his more media-sought teammates. Smith likely will find he has to do the same.
It wasn’t too long ago that Smith was the one creating traffic problems when he spoke to reporters. When he was the starter with the Jets, the group around him would spill over to his neighbors. Now, being the backup quarterback, he likely won’t create too much of a swarm on his own.
Unless, of course, he has to play. If that turns out to be the case, that corner of the Giants’ locker room quickly could become some of the most densely populated space in the NFL.