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GENO: Getting Better with Every Single Thing

Posted Sep 25, 2013

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

On the Tennessee Titans…

Physical defense, they’re very fast. In the back end, they've got veterans, guys who can hit, who can play the field. They’re going to pose a challenge for us. We’re going to continue to study and just try and focus on ourselves, continue to work the game plan and prepare for Sunday

On his progress…

I’ve been making progress. The good thing is that it’s been steady, it’s been day-by-day. I try to take every single rep in practice as hard as possible and just try and perfect my craft. It’s a long ways coming. I’ve slowly been getting better. That’s always a good sign, especially with a young player, so I’m pleased with it as well.

On how much the offensive line has been a factor to him being comfortable…

It’s been a great factor. To have veteran guys like Nick Mangold, my guy, Vlad Ducasse, Willie Colon. All of those guys, they all do a phenomenal job, they all are very smart. They compete, they come to play and they make my job much easier when I’m out there and able to step up in the pocket and make some good throws.

On playing on the road in a hostile environment…

I suppose it will be tough but we’ve got to prepare for it. We’ve been practicing with crowd noise. We got to communicate and make sure everyone hears the calls in the huddle, or if there’s no huddle, make sure everyone gets the signals. I expect it to be tough but I think we’ll be up for the challenge.

On his progression in the huddle…

I’m progressing. I’ve been getting better with every single thing. I think I’m slowly getting to where I feel like I can do every single thing they ask me to do. It’s still a work in progress, everything is going to continue to get better. As of right now, we can function extremely well. There hasn’t been any miscommunications in the games, but like I said, you still have to try and perfect it and be mindful of the fact that you have to enunciate and do all the things to make sure everyone is on the same page.

On if the team enjoys proving people wrong in regard to the preseason "rankings"…

I don’t think we’re trying to prove anyone wrong right now. We’re just trying to go out there and win games and we’re doing it collectively as a team, both sides of the ball, including special teams. As long as we continue to progress and get better and every guy comes out and competes, we’ll be fine. Later on in the season, we’ll have a chance to go to the playoffs and ultimately try to reach our goal.

On if he anticipates throwing the ball down the field more against Tennessee…

We try to take what the defense gives us. Rex [Ryan] was right, teams load the box and they try to stuff our run so we have to go down the field and stretch the field vertically. We have guys that can do that but we’ve got to continue to execute and get better at it.

On the running game…

It’s been a great asset. We haven’t had the full arsenal of backs that we have but the guys that have been in there have run hard. The offensive line has done a phenomenal job of moving guys and opening holes for Bilal [Powell] and Chris [Ivory] and all those guys. Once we get everyone back and we’re able to mix guys in and play them to their strengths, we’ll be even better. The running game has been doing phenomenal and I hope it continues to improve and stays steady week to week.

On his future with the young receivers…

Yeah, but you don’t want to get too far ahead, you have to focus on, like I said, day to day. We’re young guys, we’re unproven players. We got to come out and practice, and prove it in practice before we go out in the games and prove it. That’s all I’m trying to focus on, just making sure that Stephen [Hill] and [Jeremy] Kerley, all the guys know that it takes a ton of practice. We have to be on the same page there first before we can do it in the games.

On throwing downfield more…

It’s the same thing as West Virginia. That’s why they brought me in here, because of my ability to throw the ball downfield and be accurate with it. Like I said, we take what the defense gives us. I’m not the type of quarterback who’s going to say I have one particular throw that I’m good at. I try to perfect every single throw, no matter what level of the field it is. Now it’s different as far as my footwork, having to do it from a seven-step drop rather than being in the shotgun but I think that’s the only difference.

On if he thinks his downfield passing ability is why the Jets drafted him…

Well, I think that’s why our offense was successful in college, because we had guys who could stretch the field and then they competed down the field for the ball and I was able to put it out there where they could catch it. I don’t know my stats but I had a bunch of touchdowns that were over 60-plus yards. Like I said, it’s just about practicing it. It’s about developing timing. That’s something that we’re doing here. It’s fun to see when guys are out there stretching the field and getting open downfield and then making great catches.

On how much he practiced throwing the ball away…

It’s always a conscious effort for us. When it’s not there, Coach [David] Lee, he always says, “You’re going to have to throw one or two away.” Last game we threw three or four. There’s always going to be those situations. That comes as a part of managing the game. If I have to throw it away, if I have to take a checkdown, maybe use my legs, that’s something I’ll do more.

On teams keying on Kellen Winslow opening up the field for receivers…

I think it has opened it up. You can see teams definitely paying a little bit more attention to him. Kellen’s got to stay patient, just continue to work his routes. The time will come and his matchups will come. Like I said, I don’t have a favorite receiver. More so, I’m just trying to go out there and read the defense and take what they give me and hit the open man. As long as those guys continue to run good routes and stay patient, the ball will come their way and they’ll be rewarded.

On if two straight road games changes preparation…

Yeah. We have to be mindful of the crowd noise going into a hostile environment. We have to communicate and all those things. I’ve got to emphasize being louder, enunciating, making sure guys hear me properly so no one’s out there having any ME’s [mental errors] and guys can go out there and play with a sound mind and not have to worry about second-guessing themselves on what I’ve said or what the call was.

On not wanting to be the weak link in the offense…

I don’t want to think like that. You definitely never want to be a weak link in any situation, but I think as an offense we all compete together and whether one guy’s struggling or doing great, we continue to stay level-headed and just stick to our grounds. We work hard. We take every single rep seriously. We try to do our best on every single rep and then we let the game come to us. We don’t force things. Being a weak link, I don’t think that’s really an issue. You never want to be the weak link or the guy who’s holding the team back or the offense back.

On the offense clicking against Buffalo…

Yeah, we had a good game, but we’ve got to move on from it. We’ve got a long season and we’ve got a tough week coming up. We’ve got to string together a bunch of good games and just continue to work hard in practice and do all the things that got us to that point and we’ll be fine.

On if the Titans not having committed any turnovers adds pressure to him not have turnovers…

No, no added pressure. Our goal, my goal, is always to not have any turnovers. That’s one thing I think we must improve on in order to get better as a team and as an offense. It starts with me. I’ve got to be mindful of taking care of the ball and not putting us in the situation where we can give us easy points. That’s something that we emphasize in practice and we’ll try to get better with.
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