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QBs: Helping Each Other the Right Thing to Do

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Transcript of Mark Sanchez's and Geno Smith's news conferences under the tent after Friday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

MARK SANCHEZ

On the first day of training camp…

It was awesome. I thought the weather was perfect, campus is always great, it feels so good. I thought the competition was heated, it was fun, exciting atmosphere. I thought the defense and offense, special teams were great. Exactly the way we want to start. We’ll just keep improving, keep on simulating game-like atmospheres and keep playing well.

On helping Geno Smith despite the competition…

I think it’s the right thing to do. I think you've got to be a pro no matter what you’re doing. I think when I came in as a rookie, Kellen Clemens and I were competing, but Kellen wasn’t shy. If I were to ask him a question he’d help me out and that’s the way I learned. I guess that’s just kind of the way I was brought up in this league and I think it’s the right thing to do. Maybe not everybody does it, but that’s me.

On holding anything back from Smith…

No, I mean there’s nothing really to hold back. If he has a question, I just answer the question the way I see fit and the way that I believe to be true. And if we both don’t know, we go and ask Marty [Mornhinweg].

On the offensive supporting cast…

I thought they looked great. I saw Kellen Winslow there right at the end of practice able to make a big catch. Braylon [Edwards] looks good, like he never left. He hasn’t lost a step at all. We’ll get Tone [Santonio Holmes] back but I felt a lot of those receivers looked good today. Jeremy Kerley, I thought Clyde Gates looked good. There’s guys running all over the field and they’re making some big time catches for us, so that was important and that’s what we want to see on this first day.

On practicing with the entire team…

It was nice. It was nice just to get back into it, to start speaking the language again with the players and to see how much guys retained. I’m proud of the way guys came back and have studied during this break. It was obvious because we said some things, we got into some intricate situations and guys were right on top of it. And that’s what we expect with getting veteran leadership, especially that interior line with [Nick] Mangold and [Stephen] Peterman and Willie Colon, so those guys really did well today.

On if he would consider it a failure if he does not win the starting job…

I don’t know. I don’t even think like that. I don’t think about not winning the job. That’s just the way I am, I’m pretty optimistic.

On how Smith performed…

He did great. He’s doing a great job, he always has and he works hard. He’s busting his butt and he’s a great competitor and we get the best out of each other. The best player will play and that will eventually help the team.

On his performance…

I thought I did well. I wasn’t able to watch the film but I felt sharp, I felt accurate, I felt good with my checks, the checks we needed to make. We executed well and had some great ­positive plays. We got some completions and did well.

On Clyde Gates’ performance…

Clyde was all over the field, our first play, the seven-on-seven. It’s rare that you can out-throw a guy like Clyde Gates. That guy can run and I thought that I had him, I thought I had him overthrown by a yard and a half and he puts it into an extra gear, made a fingertip catch and those are the kind of plays we expect from Clyde and that’s the kind of receiver he can be. When you put on the practice film like that, that’s gonna be encouraging for him. It’ll boost his confidence and get him ready to play.

On any differences in Rex Ryan from 2009…

I think a lot of people in the organization feel that way, where they’re just unaffected by outside opinion, unaffected by anything other than our team, our locker room, our coaches and our staff. Those are the people that matter the most to us and when you’re playing this game, it’s you against the world. Those people you talk about, those 53 guys on the roster, the practice squad guys that we’re trying to find now, against everybody else. Especially when you go on the road, you have that mentality, so I love that about Rex. I love that he’s really just unfazed by anything and that’s the kind of guy you want to follow and it gets you excited to play for him.

On the benefits of helping Smith…

It’s just saying it one more time in your head, when you teach something, if you know something well enough to teach something whether it’s a protection, a play, a specific read, that’s when you really have it down. It’s one thing to hear somebody say something and spit it back out, but if you can really understand it and actually teach it instead of just repeat the information, that’s what you’re going for. And that goes for Geno or anybody else who has a question, that’s what I try to do.

On the overall atmosphere of the team and whether it seems more focused…

I think that’s the way Mr. [John] Idzik is. That’s his mentality. He wants us to, for everybody to be focused on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room, and that’s it. It’s plenty of fun just worrying about that. You don’t need to add anything extra. You don’t need to try too hard or try and have too much fun outside of what we’re doing. I can absolutely appreciate that and I enjoy this atmosphere, I think our guys are focused in.

On how he knows it’s coming from Idzik…

I mean you talk to the guy, you guys have interviewed him. He doesn’t say much. There’s not much to say it’s just, hey go put it on the film, we’ll evaluate it, we’ll play the best players we got, we’ll go win as many games as possible. It seems like a simple formula but sometimes when you get back to basics that’s the most effective way to do things.

On the presence of Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow for the WR corps...

I know with Braylon around, I don’t know about Kellen, but I know Braylon knows how to dress. So those guys will be ready to go on the road. They’ll be sharp. But not only that, Braylon knows how to be a pro, whether it’s in the media, on the field, after games, he’s a stud. And he’s learned so much in his career so far and he’s still got a bunch left in the tank, so I’m excited to have him back and he’s only going to help our team.

On the hard count earlier in practice and jumps on the line…

You want to, just echoing what Marty always says, use the cadences as an offense weapon, and that means that we have to be sharp on offense. We can’t have the false starts. So we’ll eliminate those, we’ll keep on trying to test our defense, and that’s good because, you get in to road games, you get in to tough atmospheres like that, our defense needs to be sharp too, and stay onsides, and execute their plays.

GENO SMITH

On how he felt today…

I felt pretty good. I think things went smoothly today in practice. Everyone was out there working hard. That’s always a good sign. We competed well, offense and defense made some good plays. On my behalf there were some good plays and some plays I can learn from but overall I think we had a really good practice.

On the feedback from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg…

Well, we’ll go in and watch film, but on the field they obviously coached me up on some things I need to improve on. Just kind of do what they’ve always done, just walk me through things, allow me to get mental reps and then put me out there and see what I can do.

On if he was anxious…

I did have a good night’s rest. I slept pretty good last night. I wasn’t too anxious. It was a really good day. I woke up and I was prepared and I was ready and I think overall we had a really good day.

On if he had any nerves…

Not at all.

On his performance in seven on seven…

I mean, we completed them. That’s always the goal. Every time you get an opportunity to drop back and pass the goal is to complete the ball. The main thing is that I went through my reads properly, my drops were good at the proper depth. And then I was hitting receivers in stride, placing the ball where I wanted it and that’s a really good sign for day one but there’s still a lot to improve on.

On there being competition at every position…

Oh yeah. Every single guy was out there busting their butt. From offensive lineman, kickers, punters, quarterbacks, long snappers, everyone’s out there competing. That’s only going to make this team better.

On Coach Mornhinweg’s reaction to passes…

Marty’s always going to be Marty. He’s always fired up. He’s always being vocal and he expresses himself pretty well and that’s a really good thing coming from an OC. He’s a really good OC and he always talks to us and he lets us know how he feels on the field, off the field, wherever. I really enjoy that and I appreciate that.

On CB Antonio Cromartie’s reaction to passes…

Oh that’s Cro, man. He always talks. He has a swagger about himself. He’s an All-Pro corner, one of the most athletic guys I’ve ever seen on the field and it’s good to have a guy like that on your side because it only makes you better. Practicing against an All-Pro corner, against a really good defense, it always makes you better as a player.

On how important it was to have an error-free first practice…

Well, I had errors but the good thing is that there are always things to learn from, always room for improvement and this is only day one. We have a long camp schedule ahead of us so my goal is to go in with the mentality to get better at every single thing that I do whether it’s on the field, off the field, in the film room, if I’m in my room studying, I’m trying to perfect my craft and just get better.

On if today’s performance gives him confidence…

I’ve always been confident. I hope you guys realize that. I’m always going to be confident. It’s still a humbling factor. I’m out there and I’m learning and I’m soaking things up, I’m learning from every single guy. I’m a rookie at this thing so I’m just trying to help my team win games and help better my team when I’m on the field.

On what he can do that sets him apart in the competition…

I mean, just continue to do what I’ve always done. Just practice and get better and work hard. Like I said, the coaches will do the evaluating and when the time is right they’ll make the selection but my job is to go out there and practice as hard as I can, take every single rep as hard as I can and just try to do my best. That’s all I can ask from myself.

On how his vocal side is coming along…

Oh well, that was the drill. Obviously those guys were in the heat of the moment but my job as the quarterback is to get them lined up and complete the drill.

On how much of the playbook he knows…

I mean, I’m learning it as we go. I’ve got the protections down. I feel comfortable with it. I feel comfortable with every single play that I have out there. Like I said, it’s about preparation but it’s like learning the dictionary. You’ll never know every single thing about it, you’ve got to continue to study it and that’s what I do, I study it. Even things I think I have down pat, I still go back and study my notes and study the playbook.

On how fast the Jets defense is…

Very fast. Those guys are not only fast from a physical standpoint but they read and react. Some of the best I’ve ever seen. This is my first time at it but just from my knowledge, the Jets have always had a really good defense. Rex [Ryan] has always coached very sound defenses so I think this is only going to help us and it’s going to help me as well.

On seeing a player the size of Quinton Coples chasing him…

I mean, that’s amazing, right? The guy’s like 280 and he’s running step for step with me. That’s a good sign. I can’t wait until he’s chasing down other guys on Sundays.

On if the play with Coples was a designed run…

It was a rollout play. I kind of tried to break contain and he was right on my tail.

On Coples shouting “Not that fast” at him…

Oh, that’s Coples, man. He’s always talking. That defense, they talk. I love it because as a rookie you have to expect that going into games. The only way to get used to it is to deal with it in practice.

On if he has had to do any rookie initiation things…

Not yet. I’m pretty sure they’re coming, though. I’m ready for anything.

On his relationship with Mark Sanchez…

It’s great. We’re out there encouraging one another but we’re also competing. Mark did a really good job today. He was out there being accurate and being his normal self. I appreciate Mark for what he does for me on and off the field. He helps me, he teaches me, he helps me get acclimated to the pro game and we have a really good relationship. When we’re on the field we encourage one other but we also compete.

On Coach Ryan’s message…

Oh man, some of it I can’t share with you guys but the gist of it is basically we’re going to go into it with a new mindset. It’s a new season. Everything in the past is in the past and we’re just going to work our butts off in camp and take it one day at a time.

On Sanchez wanting the job but also helping him…

It speaks volumes about his character. Like I said, Mark’s a great guy. He’s always helping me. He’s always willing to help me. From my knowledge he’s always helped everyone, including Greg [McElroy], including Matt [Simms]. And that’s the relationship we all have inside the quarterback room and I think that breeds a good room and it helps for good competition.

On if he has ever been the older player competing for a starting spot with a younger player…

Yeah, I was once. In college I had two freshmen come in my sophomore year and I was injured going into that offseason. But that’s different from now. All of that is in the past and it doesn’t mean much now.

On if the roles were reversed with Sanchez, would he help him…

Of course, of course. That’s the job. You’ve got to be a professional. Whether there’s competition or not, you always have to be professional.

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