You were talking to him. You contacted him more than any other team leading up to the draft.
He stands 6’5, weighs over 230 and moves in the pocket like that guy in New England who has been shredding you for years.
He’s been mentored by guys with NFL ties his whole life. He made some mistakes a few years ago, and he’s learned from them.
You needed a quarterback, I get it. There was no way you were moving on this season without a Mark Sanchez exit plan. But then you broke under the pressure. You were swayed, be it by the media, the fans or whoever. Something made you want that spotlight. Something made you draft Geno Smith.
You were heroes for a day – the team who stepped in and stopped the free fall that Geno Smith was going through. Some of your fans cheered, thinking anything is better than Sanchez. Others booed, like they always do. I almost always disagree when Jet fans boo. Not this time.
This time they were right. This time they knew there were better options on the board. They may not have known about Peter Lalich, but you did. You know you did.
You could have waited as long as you wanted to get him. Had you taken him in the last round, there would have been no boos, as the only people left in Radio City Music Hall by that time were true die-hards. They probably heard of Lalich.
Now you are stuck with Geno Smith. You are stuck with the guy who generates another story every day about his lack of work ethic, maturity and leadership skills. You, like other scouts, were blinded by those pretty balls he threw all year, not even giving a second thought to how good those two receivers he had were.
What if Ryan Nassib was throwing to Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey? What if Peter Lalich was throwing to them?
Peter Lalich had a beer at a street festival in Charlottesville when he was underage. Peter Lalich drove a houseboat ten feet under the influence of alcohol in Oregon. He grew up, finished school and still has the same football mind that made him one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in the country coming out of high school. He still has that rocket for an arm – the same one that lets him throw an 80-yard ball.
Somewhere there is a kid in Arizona getting ready to suit up for the Cardinals who lost count of the number of drug tests he failed in college.
Every day, you learn something new about Geno Smith. None of it has been good. None of it.
Meanwhile, you and every other team in the NFL learn nothing more about Peter Lalich – the best pure passer who was available in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s probably somewhere on a beach running himself through three-cones drills, because as he says “he sucks at them.” Tom Brady sucked at them too.
Peter Lalich is waiting for your phone call right now. He’s not just waiting for yours; he’s waiting for the guy who helped recruit him to Virginia who is now on the staff in Tampa Bay. And he’s waiting for a call from that guy’s brother, who coaches America’s team. He’s waiting for a call from that former CFL coach who is now in charge of the Bears. He remembers that play that was drawn up for him by that coach when he was on the N.C. State staff – Right 322 Dragon a.k.a. Slant flat.
Peter Lalich was waiting for your call on draft weekend. He’s still waiting. He’s waiting to prove to you and the rest of the league just how great he can be. All he wants is a chance.
What’s Geno Smith doing right now?
BY J.P. SCOTT ON MAY 6, 2013