CORTLAND – Rex Ryan defended rookie quarterback Geno Smith, delivering a well-timed one-liner as only he could.
When told Smith’s former West Virginia teammates had recently lamented that a lack of leadership led the Mountaineers to a 7-6 record in 2012, Ryan said: “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.”
Though Smith and former Mountaineers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey (both Rams rookies) weren’t mentioned by name in the article, several West Virginia players – and their head coach Dana Holgorsen – painted a not-so-pretty picture of life in Morgantown last year.
“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.