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GENO: Ball Security Drills Are Kind of Dreadful

Posted Oct 23, 2013

Transcript of quarterback Geno Smith's news conference at his locker following our Wednesday midday practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

On the challenge he faces against Cincinnati…

Yeah, it’s going to be another challenge for us. We have to prepare ourselves for another tough, hard-fought game. We are going into a tough environment against a team with a good defense, a really good offense. We are going to have to bring our A-game.

On if last week’s win gives the team confidence going forward…

I think it definitely helps. It helps our record. We are a confident bunch but it does help us going forward. Hopefully, we can string together some more wins and just start building momentum as the season goes along.

On how the team can build consistency and a winning streak…

It’s just that, just playing consistent. We’ve been kind of hot and cold, but it’s time for us to become level and play consistent. It starts with practice. We’ve been getting better every day in practice, I think the chemistry is growing. Guys are out there busting their butt so hopefully we can continue the success.

On the challenges the Cincinnati defense presents…

They present a number of challenges. They have great guys, veteran guys in the secondary. They have a very tough linebacker corps of guys who come down and hit. It’s kind of similar to what we saw with Pittsburgh. Their d-line is one of the best out there. They are stacked at every position. It’s going to be a challenge for us but we just have to just go into the game with the right mindset and just execute the game plan.

On his relationship with Jeremy Kerley

Jeremy and I, we’ve been doing a lot off the field. That goes for all of the receivers and all of the quarterbacks. It has really helped us out because we’re now beginning to see the same things and get on the same page. It helps us out on the field because it’s kind of like a symbiotic relationship, he’s thinking one thing and I’m thinking the same. When we’re on the same page it’s kind of hard for defenses to stop us.

On his confidence…

I just enjoy playing the game. I’m pretty confident in myself and my teammates, that’s where that comes from. I know that with this defense we always have a chance. With the offense, I think we have been moving the ball pretty well, if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot. We just have to stay focused, stay humble and continue to work.

On being 4-3 with an opportunity to improve…

It’s a great opportunity for us. It’s something that we’ve worked for but now is not the time to settle. We have to continue to get better and keep climbing.

On where he has improved the most…

I think my biggest level of improvement has come with just my knowledge of how to manage situations, being more aware of situations and knowing when to tone it back sometime, not always being as aggressive and knowing when to be aggressive and when to take chances.

On if he feels that he has been up and down in his development…

No, I don’t feel that but I definitely want to continue to play consistently. That’s something I have been working extremely hard at, I've been beating myself over about, because I know with that consistency at quarterback, it usually leads to success with the team. That’s something I’m trying to do, something I pride myself in, being a consistent decision maker. That’s what I have been trying to do and it’s something that has really hit home with me as of late.

On his decision to run during Sunday’s game…

One led to points and the other led to a first down on that drive. Anytime you can do that it’s always a good decision. Like I said, I try to make good decisions all the time. If it means me running the ball, then that’s what I’ll do.

On if he considers throwing the ball in those situations…

Always. They’re designed passes. I was just going through my reads, stepped up and found a lane and was able to pick up a first down on one and extended the play on the second one and got in for the score.

On if he feels that he needs to elevate his play…

Yes I do. I think everyone’s always had that mentality, to always play with a good amount of confidence and be consistent. Especially now, we have to focus in and really just lock in on what our assignments are so we can do the right things on the field and get victories.

On the success without Santonio Holmes

For one, we love Santonio. We would love to have him right now but we have to continue to move on without him. The reason for that is because the guys around me have made me better, the offensive line has stepped up, guys such as Stephen [Hill], Jeremy, Jeff [Cumberland], they’ve all stepped up. The running backs have stepped up. Everyone is just raising their level of play and it is helping us out.

On if he feels things are moving slower during the game compared to Week One…

I would say so. Just with the experience, things start to slow down for you. That’s something that is going to continue to grow as far as my learning curve goes. I’ve been studying hard, I’ve been training hard. That’s just something that’s going to continue to get better with time.

On the impact of Leon Hall being placed on injured reserve…

Well, I haven’t seen a huge impact. He’s a Pro Bowl corner but they have other corners that can step right in. They have been doing a tremendous job, Pacman [Adam Jones], Terence Newman, some of their nickel corners. They all get in and they do a tremendous job for them. I think they’ve all stepped up their level of play and it’s going to make it a challenge for us come Sunday.

On if thinks that he would have tried to force the ball on his running plays earlier in the season…

I don’t know, that’s hypothetical. I’m just glad I made the right decision

On if throwing the ball is always a possibility…

Yes. We like to have it where guys are open and we can hit them through the reads. At times, in this league, there is going to be times where you have to extend plays and maybe use your legs. That’s something that Coach [David] Lee and Rex [Ryan] always remind me to do.

On if most quarterbacks that run do not usually have his arm strength…

I can’t speak for anyone else but I believe that my game is based in the pocket but I do have the ability to extend plays and pick up first downs if need be.

On Coach Ryan only naming him the starter on a game-by-game basis…

I agree with that. That’s the way I approach my lifestyle, day by day. That’s the only way I can take it, just try and get better every single day and go out there on Sundays and once again try to prove myself.

On ball security drills…

It’s been continued. We did it today as well. It’s kind of dreadful, but I know it makes us better and it makes me better as a player. It’s important to secure that ball. That’s first things first, above all else. It’s something we must do in practice and we’ve been getting better with it.

On why the drill is dreadful…

It’s tiring, it’s a tiring drill.

On if he has improved in regards to ball security…

Yes, just the mentality of being aware of ball security in the pocket. That’s something I’ve gotten better with and it’s something Coach Lee has constantly drilled in my head and I’ve gotten better.

On if the biggest change from college to the NFL is the way defenses attack the ball…

Yes, I think that would be the biggest difference. Guys in the NFL are trained to attack the ball at all times. That goes for when you’re passing it and you’re running it. You just have to be mindful about it at all times.

On how he goes about building consistency…

As far as in practice, I’ve always had the mindset to approach every single practice rep as it was a game rep. I think that’s the best way to build that consistency, is to be consistent in practice. Then overtime it will happen in the game.

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