Geno Smith gives himself 'F' for 1st Jets practice

Geno Smith gives himself 'F' for 1st Jets practice
May 10, 2013, 6:07 pm
Share This Post

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, a second-round draft pick out of West Virginia, looks to pass during NFL football rookie minicamp Friday, May 10, 2013, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

(APWF)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Geno Smith was surrounded by a throng of reporters, a crowded scene usually more appropriate for a No. 1 draft pick than a second-rounder.

But Smith, of course, isn't your ordinary No. 39 selection. And, the New York Jets are certainly used to their quarterbacks - and backup quarterbacks, for that matter - getting this type of attention.

``I just come out,'' Smith said Friday, ``and be my natural self.''

Who that is, exactly, has been open to some debate in recent weeks as Smith has taken lots of criticism for his abilities on the field - despite a record-breaking career at West Virginia - and his attitude off it. Various published reports painted Smith as an immature diva who didn't always take football seriously enough.

``Maybe I don't know what the diva behavior looks like,'' coach Rex Ryan said. ``I never saw that at all.''

Smith's free fall from potential top-10 pick, and his reported decision - and later, change of heart - to leave New York rather than return to the draft site at Radio City Music Hall added to the perception. As did Smith firing his two agents shortly after the draft.

He's done with all that. Still without an agent, Smith is ready to move on to football again.

``I think it's been a more eventful few weeks for the media,'' Smith said. ``My only job is to focus on what I have here and get better.''

And there's plenty to do, if you ask Smith, who said all the right things after his first practice of rookie minicamp.

``I'm going to be tough on myself,'' Smith said. ``I'll let the coaches do the grading, but if I say it, it's an F because I want to be an A-plus.

``Hey man, that's just the way I do things.''

Despite the tough self-evaluation, the quarterback looked pretty good during practice. Smith appeared to have a solid working knowledge of the playbook, and zipped many of his passes - mostly in short yardage - around the field.

``I've been studying my butt off, learning formations, learning protections,'' said Smith, wearing No. 7 because his old No. 12 from his college days is Joe Namath's retired number. ``I think I did a good job overall today. There were some bumps in the road. Those are things I think I can clean up.''

He also worked under center most of the time, something he wasn't used to doing during his time at West Virginia. Smith hesitated a few times on some throws, and was even yelled at by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg for failing to pull off a play-action bootleg pass.

Rookie jitters? Smith won't go there.

``There are no excuses here,'' Smith said. ``We've all got to study our playbooks and be prepared for practice. If he felt like I needed to pick things up, then he'll get on me, which he did. I'm receptive to that, and I did what he asked of me.''

Yes, the man some outside the Jets organization anonymously labeled as not very coachable said all the right things after practice, appearing humble and clear of his role on the team.

While many assume that will be to someday become the Jets' starting quarterback, Smith refused to look too far ahead.

``I have a job to do as of right now, and that's to come in and compete,'' he said. ``Right now, there's a long ways to go in that process. This is only Step 1, Day 1, but it was fun to get out here on the practice field and enjoy my teammates and coaches.''

The plan is to have Smith compete for the starting job this summer with Mark Sanchez and David Garrard, as well as Greg McElroy and Matt Simms - although those two likely have no realistic shot at winning it. Smith said he was told that Sanchez will get ``the majority of the reps'' in training camp.

``I know Mark is a competitor, and I understand Mark wants to win the job,'' Smith said. ``We all do. But at the same time, I'm going to learn from him and David and Greg.''

He already impressed his fellow rookie teammates on offense by getting together with several of them at the players' hotel Thursday night and going over the playbook.

``I think that's great,'' Ryan said. ``It's unusual the way he commanded the huddle. And the fact he's already telling guys (instructions), that's pretty sharp.''

Smith has also studied former quarterbacks such as Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb, trying to get an even better handle on Mornhinweg's West Coast offense.

So, Smith says, the critics can keep on talking about him. He has better things to worry about.

``I don't resent any of it,'' Smith said. ``I don't pay attention to any of it. I just focus on what I can control and that's being a Jets quarterback, being a great teammate and just getting better as a quarterback daily.''

---

NOTES: CB Dee Milliner, the team's top draft pick at No. 9 overall, didn't practice as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. He expects to be ready in time for training camp in late-July. ... Ryan said he was ``disappointed'' in Quinton Coples' work in the weight room Thursday. ``If Quinton doesn't do a better job in the weight room,'' Ryan said, ``he'll have to compete like anyone else for a job,'' Ryan said. It was a clear motivational ploy since Coples, the team's first-rounder last year, is a rising star for the defense and will move from the line to outside linebacker this season after leading the team in sacks with 5 1/2. ``He's been doing a great job, but any chance I have to get him, I'm going to,'' Ryan said. ``I expect so much from him and if he lets up a little bit, we're going to make sure he knows it.''

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. He's ready to go as Arian Foster's caddie against the Eagles.
Oct 31 2:55PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable for Week 9. He'll be all systems go against the Eagles' solid run defense.
Oct 31 2:54PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. Johnson is a legitimate WR1 against the Eagles' inconsistent secondary.
Oct 31 2:53PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
Oct 31 1:11PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More

More Team Talk