When a player plummets down the draft boards like Geno Smith did last weekend, you can almost see the suspicious glances being thrown around Radio City Music Hall. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And - perhaps most importantly - who is to blame?
The first person the finger points at is Smith himself. He was savaged by several draft scouts for not having the leadership qualities that are required for an NFL quarterback. Reports emerged of him spending more time on his phone whilst on pre-draft visits than actually talking to staff. In other words, red flags kept popping up, and Smith didn't seem to be doing anything to dismiss them.
However, it was clear who Smith blamed - Select Sports Group, his agents. The dust had barely settled on the weekend's events when Geno fired his advisers ostensibly putting all the blame on them. At first glance, it seemed to be a petulant move by someone who didn't get his own way, but scratch the surface and there may be some truth in it.
SSG were pegged as the sole reason why Smith skipped the Senior Bowl, thus missing out on one of the best opportunities to impress scouts pre-Draft. Add to that the apparent lack of any obvious PR moves when Smith got some pretty bad rap from Pro Football Weekly's draft scouts, and you can maybe see why Smith was a bit miffed.
In reality, no one party can really take all of the blame, but what's important for Smith now is that he doesn't just surround himself with Yes men, but with a strong team who can deal with all of the flack he is currently getting and - more importantly - the mud flinging he will no doubt receive as starting quarterback of the New York Jets.