Hayden Smith expecting to make an impact in second season

Hayden Smith was something of a curiosity for fans and media in his rookie year, but after learning everything from how to put on his helmet to down the cadence of a snap, he’s ready to make an impact now in just his second year playing football according to Rich Cimini on ESPN NY.

Smith has come a long way in a relatively short time. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Australian was one of the bright spots during OTAs, impressing with his dramatic improvement. Instead of worrying about where to line up and trying to remember his assignment on each play, Smith actually made plays, including a couple of acrobatic receptions.

“Coming in the second time around, not having to worry about the game of football itself, it takes a lot of the thinking out of it,” he said. “That was always going to be the challenge early on, getting comfortable with the sport. Now I feel like I’m at the stage where I can just concentrate on execution rather than the bigger things.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

How Hayden got to New York is interesting in itself, but it’s what he’s done since arriving that has been more compelling.  Hayden is a very gifted athlete, that much was clear just from his YouTube workout.

One of the big things that you could see from Hayden last year during training camp was the split-second hesitation that he might have in trying to be in the right place.  Now that he’s had a whole season to study the game, he’s going to have  better sense of all that and his athleticism is starting to shine through.