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GENO: Best Thing Is Just Play with a Clean Slate

Posted Nov 20, 2013

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

On if Ed Reed and Rex Ryan have given him any advice on the Ravens’ defense…

Not really. I watched film as I’ve always done every single week. Basically, when you watch film you can pretty much off the bat tell what kind of defense they are, very physical up front, guys that fly around in the back end, very talented and athletic in the back end, so it’s just another challenge for us, just like every other week. So we just have to continue prepare and come out with the right mindset. It’s now or never for us and we just have to win.

On if he feels it’s a must-win game…

Of course, we do every single week, but at the point in our season right now, it’s kind of a little make-or-break. So we have to go out there and we have to win. I’m pretty sure they have the same mindset, so they have it. It sets up for a really good matchup, two physical, tough teams and pretty much the more physical team is going to win.

On preventing himself from pressing to not make mistakes…

I think the more you think about it, the worse you’ll do. The best thing for me to do is just wipe it out of my mind, just play with a clean slate. I pretty much do that every week. I’m not out there thinking about what happened three or four weeks ago when I’m playing, but when you make mistakes over and over that can accumulate and we can start talking about where you were headed Week 3 and how you’re doing. You want to see progress.

So in that area, I just have to continue to work at it and I know it’s going to get better. That’s not my nature as a quarterback or player. I think it’s just a matter of me growing as a quarterback, so I just have to continue to get better and not worry about the mistakes I made in college.

On if “cleaning the slate” is something you can be taught…

You can’t teach it. You just have to have it in you and you just have to do it. It’s pretty much simple.

On if he took the majority of the reps today…

Yes.

On if he heard Coach Ryan say other quarterbacks might get more first-team reps…

No, they haven’t said anything to me about it.

On Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil…

I think Suggs has about nine sacks and Dumervil is right on his tail. So two very good edge rushers, their résumés speak for themselves. I have full confidence in my O-line and my right and left tackle, and I know those guys are going to be prepared for the battle.

On if it is tough to play at M&T Bank Stadium…

Yes, we’ve had our share of struggles on the road, so it’s going to be a huge test for us. It’s pretty much going to tell a lot about this team and our character. I know one thing: Last game has been put behind us and we’re ready to go out there and fight come Sunday.

On if there is a similar vibe coming off of a bad game to the one he had following Tennessee…

No, that was so long ago. We’re way past that. We’re not thinking about that. We’ve got to focus on one day at a time, one game at a time. We have a game coming up here in Baltimore, a tough place to play. But we’re aware of that. We know what we’re going into. We’ve got to go out there and execute.

On if this season is similar to what Mark Sanchez went through in his rookie season…

No. I’m not Mark. I don’t think it’s fair to compare his season to mine. It’s two different seasons, two different guys, two different players, two different styles, two different systems. I know you guys want to compare every single thing, but it doesn’t make a difference.

On if he has talked with Sanchez…

Yeah, I talked to Mark. He texts me from time to time and says good luck and I’ve seen him around and we talk and catch up on things. It’s good to see him still upbeat. I think his injury is coming along well. I don’t know how far along he is, but we have talked.

On if cleaning the slate was Coach Ryan’s message to the team…

No.

On what Ryan’s message to the team was…

His message was we’re going to play a physical, tough Baltimore team and be prepared to go out there and play. I may have to use my legs a few times, but the key is to stay on the field and move the chains.

On how he goes about deciding when to throw the ball away or run the ball…

It starts with practice, just continuing to rep it, continuing to go over the mechanics of going through your 1-2-3 reads and then if it isn’t there, having that clock in your head to know you’re got to escape the pocket. You can’t be a sitting duck in the pocket. Usually I’m good with that but I think the last game I did a terrible job of moving. I didn’t help my offensive line out much. Basically I've just got to get back to playing the game freely, but at the same time, like you said, taking care of the ball.

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