Quarterback Geno Smith joined Petros and Money on Monday to discuss his new gig with the Bolts.
From why he chose the Chargers to his history with Head Coach Anthony Lynn and more, here are the top takeaways from Smith's appearance on AM 570.
Why the Chargers?
After visiting a couple teams last week, Smith's decision to join the Bolts came to a head on Sunday. He said he based his decision on how he felt not only about the front office and coaches, but about the way the team is trending in a positive direction:
"It has to feel right. It has to feel good. Being in New York, I learned a lot. I grew a lot. But I think all of my time there helped me become a much better player and a much better person. I think when it comes to my time in L.A. and deciding on the Chargers, I just felt good about the people I met there. I felt good about the front office people. I've known Coach Lynn. I've known Philip (Rivers) for a little bit, not very great, but we've had a few conversations. With just knowing a lot of the guys on the team as well, and seeing the direction of the team, it was something I just wanted to be a part of."
History with Lynn
As Smith mentioned, a portion of why he joined the Bolts came down to his knowledge of the team's head coach. When the New York Jets selected Smith in 2013, Lynn was the team's running backs coach and assistant head coach. The pair spent two seasons together before Lynn moved on to Buffalo in 2015:
"(Coach Lynn and I) have a little bit of history. He was on the Jets staff when I was drafted there. I've known him for a bit of time and I really believe in what he's doing there. I believe in the front office. I believe in Philip and the direction of the team. The way they finished last year, I think there's a lot of momentum heading into this season."
Learning a New System
Joining a new team means cracking open a playbook chockfull of new terminology written in a new language. Although it can be a daunting task, Smith said he's confident he'll be able to pick it up quickly given he's entering his sixth season in the league. Additionally, he's excited to get to work with his new teammates because there's no better source to bounce concepts off of than those who live it:
"A lot of that is learning the language; concepts and plays. You're not reinventing the wheel with offense. It's a new language and a different way of doing things with a different philosophy. That's the key. To learn the language, protections and subtle nuances of learning the offense. A lot of it may be how Philip wants it done. A lot of it is going to be how (Offensive Coordinator) Ken Whisenhunt wants it done. So just getting around those guys and picking their brains (while) going over tape, all of those things come with time. But going into my sixth year in the league, it won't be as difficult as it was when I was a rookie. I feel good about my understanding of the game, but I'm ready to dive into that playbook and just learn everything I can about the offense."
Role on the Team
Smith enters a QB room with both Philip Rivers and Cardale Jones. While it's clear number 17 will be the starter for the 2018 season, Smith said he's looking forward to getting on the field to "prove myself to every single guy in the building and every single fan who may not know much about me…":
"I think it's good that we let those things play out. I'm ready to compete, go out there and win. Those things will play out in eventual time. As of right now, we're still early in the stages. I'm very confident and eager to get out there and get to work."