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MINICAMP: It’s About Weathering the Storm

Posted May 10, 2013

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews with the Jets' top three draft choices in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room following Friday's midday rookie minicamp practice:

QB GENO SMITH

On the first day of rookie minicamp…

It was great. I got a chance to go out there and compete with my teammates. Everyone out there, our heads are spinning. Install-1 was tough, but overall, I think we did a pretty good job.

On his experience the last two weeks…

It’s been good. Obviously, there has been a lot of talking to media, but for me it’s just being my normal self, just handling business the way I always have.

On if he pays attention to talk in the media…

No, I never have and probably never will. I understand it comes with the territory. I just focus on what really matters to me and that’s just being a good teammate, focusing on my football and getting better daily.

On what he thinks his rookie experience will be like…

I think it will be a great one. I’m going to be here and I’m going to try to make the best of it. I have a job to do as of right now and that’s to come in and compete. Right now there’s a long way to go in that process. This is only step one, day one, but it was fun to get out here on the practice field, enjoy my teammates and coaches, learn from Coach [David] Lee, learn from Coach [Marty] Mornhinweg, and then just be a Jet.

On if he is disappointed in criticism he has taken…

I don’t think anyone who’s worked with me or has known me in the past has had anything negative to say. I think from what I’ve seen, my coaches and teammates have all said great things about me. But I’m not focused on that. I’m focused on what I have here with the Jets, proving myself to my teammates and coaches and just focusing on bettering myself daily. You try to master this offense and it’s just you’re one of the guys.

On if he was under center today more than he ever has been before…

Probably yes, probably more than recently, but it felt like a natural change. Obviously, there are some things that I need to clean up and I’m going to work hard with Coach Lee and Coach Mornhinweg. It didn’t feel too odd to me, so I think I did a pretty good job.

On if he has talked to David Garrard or Mark Sanchez

I talked to David, spoke with Mark, spoke with Greg [McElroy], all the guys. We’re a team here. In that quarterback room, we’re a close-knit bunch. We’re going to be competing with one another, but I’m a rookie in this thing, so I’m going to be learning from every single one of them.

On learning the West Coast offense…

As we all know, the West Coast system is one of the toughest ones to learn, but I don’t think it was too foreign to me. First of all, I studied my butt off just to be prepared for today, and there’s more work that goes into being ready for tomorrow. Overall, it’s going to be a transition and that’s expected, but I’m going to work at it and try my best to put my best foot forward.

On how his skillset matches up with the offense…

I think it’s going to be a transition. Obviously, it’s a different system than I had been in, but like I said, it’s just about the work that I put in and making sure that I’m in that playbook day and night, studying film, watching guys from the past and the present who have played in a similar system and trying to figure out ways to implement my game into it.

On if the goal for him is to start in Week 1…

That’s so far ahead for me right now. I’m working on what I have here right now. My goal is to prove myself to my teammates and my coaches here, to get in that playbook, learn it in and out and be able to spit it back out, and go out there on the field and execute.

On who he can watch film of in a West Coast system…

Joe Montana — it’s a Bill Walsh system, we all know about that — Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb played in that system, Brett Favre, all those guys. I’ve already started studying film on them. It’s all about repetition and being comfortable in the system.

On who he is similar to in the group of quarterbacks he listed…

I think they’re all different and I think I’m different. I think it’s more of the system, you just have to be able to play within the system. All those guys did a great job of using their own personal characteristics to make it better. My job is to, first of all, learn it, understand it, and then kind of implement my game into it.

On how much of the playbook has down…

I have Install-1 down and I don’t even know if I have that down 100 percent yet, so I have to continue to just study it. Install-1 is here and gone and now I have to work on Install-2.

On talking to Coach Mornhinweg and Coach Lee…

I talk to Coach Lee, I talk to Coach Mornhinweg. We all have a good system of communication here. The main thing is I just ask them questions about the system, about what I should be expecting in the offense and just ways to better myself. They do a great job of communicating with me, being honest with me and letting me know things that I need to do to improve.

On if he resents the media attention he has received…

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

On where criticism of him has come from…

I’m guessing you guys will know better [about] that. I can’t really say anything. Like I said, I don’t read into it, I don’t pay attention to it, I kind of get these questions a lot and I don’t know. I don’t focus on that. It’s not really my job. So I handle what I can handle here.

On if the last few weeks have been eventful with all the media coverage of him..

I think it’s been a more eventful few weeks for the media. I’ve just been being my natural old self. Nothing’s changed. I’m not feeling any way towards any of it. I could care less about it. My only job is to focus on what I have here and to get better.

On if he has talked to Garrard…

Yes, I talked to David through text messages and he spoke to me about just how he looks forward to competing with me, teaching me and mentoring me. I told him I’m all ears, I’m an open sponge here, I’m just here to learn and I’m learning from everyone. It’s kind of like learning on the job. I’m a rookie and there’s going to be ups and downs, but it’s about weathering the storm.

CB DEE MILLINER

On if he thinks he will be on the field for training camp…

Yes, I will.

On what is specifically keeping him off the practice field…

With the shoulder it is a long process, you can’t just get out there and jump right back in it because you really can’t swing your arm or anything like that. Like I said, rehabbing and waiting to get back in the roll of things and I should be fine.

On how his shoulder feels…

It feels great. It feels good. I can move it around. I have great range of motion.

On if he feels like he can play right now…

It's not all the way, 100 percent, healed. It's a couple of months' process before you get back to normal. I just know to listen to what the trainers tell me, go out there and do what they tell me to do. Until they clear me to get out there, I'm going to be over there doing rehab.

On if there is any culture shock coming from Alabama to New York…

No. It's a great environment up here, it's a great city, a great place to play football and be a part of. Also, it is great for media — you know you all will be around all the time [laughter]. It is just good to be around football up here and to be around all the great players.

DT SHELDON RICHARDSON

On the first day of practice being faster than college…

Way faster. Not as much banging, but it's way faster, less reps, when you get in, make sure your reps are perfect. Got to get your technique down.

On his thoughts on Coach Ryan…

Straightforward and to the point. Short and sweet. That’s how you like it as a football player, especially as a D-lineman. You don’t want anybody beating around the bush and telling you a bunch of theories and all that. It’s simple. It's football.

On Coach Dunbar…

He’s a "tech-titioner." He loves his technique. He’s firm with it. You don’t get a chance to get your rep back if you mess up. He’ll talk to you.

On his size…

I was always the chubby kid in class that everybody picked on, I was, and I played with a chip on my shoulder. I still feel like I’m the same kid. I like to do what skinny guys do. Dunk a basketball? I want to jump as high as him and dunk a basketball. I happen to be able to dunk a basketball because of it. I have fun. I’m a kid out there.

On his versatility being a strength…

Always, never a weakness. All you have to do is adjust and know what you're doing.

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