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DK Metcalf on how Geno Smith ‘matured and changed’ as Seahawks starter

The fifth-year Seahawks wide receiver has witnessed Geno’s transformation first-hand.

New York Giants v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf has been teammates with Geno Smith since his rookie season back in 2019. Geno was Russell Wilson’s backup for three seasons, but in 2022 the team’s blockbuster trade of Wilson paved the way for Smith to be a full-time starter for the first time since he was with the New York Jets back in 2014. Smith not only posted impressive stats en route to winning Comeback Player of the Year, but Metcalf benefited with a career-high 90 catches, and the team defied expectations and reached the playoffs.

Beyond the box score, Smith garnered praise for his leadership skills. In his guest appearance on Fubo SportsGetcha Popcorn Ready with T.O. and Hatch, Metcalf went into great detail about the evolution of Geno from backup quarterback to the team’s eventual starter.

“Well after [Russell Wilson] left, of course that’s a big missing void,” Metcalf said. “With one, his play, two, his leadership and three, just his presence overall. So how I looked at it, Geno played three years behind Russ, so he sat in the room with Russ. He knows how Russ thinks and how Russ talks. So I’m thinking, he’s about to try to emulate Russ. He didn’t do that not one time. Geno Smith did stuff his own way.

“I think there was a little childish aspect [to Geno] his first three years [in Seattle] to where he knew he was the backup so he could like chill a little bit. But when we traded Russ, Geno flew down here and we were throwing and I could tell just by looking in his eyes that it was different. He was locked in and he was ready. And I was like, ‘OK, this is a different Geno than I’m used to.’ Because my first three years, me and Geno would talk about the scouting report because he had been in the league for seven years already. So we would play [Washington] and I would be like, ‘Hey bro, what do you think about so and so or so and so?’ And he would give me tidbits of information from what he saw on film.”

“But [last year] just going into training camp – he is the first one out there and the first one at the facility. He’s watching film. He’s not talking. He just had his head down and he’s working. Week 8 he gave us a pregame speech, and you could just see everyone locked in on him because they had seen how much he had matured and changed. He wasn’t the same Geno. He was like, ‘This is my team now. Ya’ll are gonna listen. I’ve put in the work and I’ve put in the time to where I have stapled my name in Seattle.’ And everybody just started to respect him.”

Smith’s column on The Players’ Tribune a few months back also chronicled the support he received from Seahawks teammates during his journey, even including the handful of starts in place of the injured Wilson back in 2021. The maturity factor is important to note given Geno’s reputation in New York, and even further back to when he was drafted.

Based on DK’s words, Geno is as dialed in as can be.

“He would sit in the pocket – like we would watch highlights – and the balls that he would throw just sitting in the pocket and taking hits while he knows he’s about to get smacked and the ball would be a dime,” Metcalf said. “And we’d be like, ‘That’s crazy.’ And he’s still coming in the next morning and he’s in early getting work. He’s still out there during walk through and they were like, ‘Geno calm down. You’ve got a certain amount of reps,’ and he was like, ‘No I’m out here at walk through and I’m throwing the ball today.’

“So I’m like, ‘OK, that’s different.’ Because I ain’t never seen him act like that or do that or take that type of leadership until last year. So my hat goes off to him because he did it his way.”

Metcalf also has thoughts on his own workout regimen (17:30), his intense workouts with Russell Wilson (20:00), and a whole lot more if you want to watch the full video below!