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GENO: I Definitely Feel a Sense of Urgency

Posted Dec 2, 2013

Transcript of quarterback Geno Smith's news conference at his locker following our Monday afternoon walkthrough at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

On if he has been told that he will start Sunday…

Yeah, I’ve been told by Coach [David] Lee that they’ll be going with me, so that’s pretty much it.

On his reaction to being named this week’s starter…

Every day I come into this building I fully expect to play. I prepare that way. When I got the news, it wasn’t a major reaction. I was going to go about this week the same as I’ve always done and I was going to prepare hard and get myself ready to play.

On if he was worried he would not start…

No. Coming into this week, coming into this building today, my mindset hasn’t changed. My goal is to go out there every single day in practice and to prove myself, and that’s what I’m going to do again this week. Pretty much in this league no one’s job is for certain. Everyone has to earn their pay and I’m no different. That’s the way I go about it.

On why he believes he is the best option at quarterback…

It’s hard for people to believe that with the tough stretch that we’ve had, but that’s just the confidence I have in myself. I know for a fact that my teammates and coaches have that same confidence in me. That’s why I believe that.

On if he has seen anything different in practice the last three weeks that is translating into games…

I think it just comes down to execution in games. We’ve had good practices. We’ve had good weeks of practice. But practice doesn’t win games. A lot of times it comes down to a few small things here and there in games. It could be a lack of focus. It could be anything. The key thing is we’ve got to correct it. All of those things fall on me. I’ve got to get my act together pretty fast. I think if I do that it can help our offense out a lot. I’ve just got to continue to plug at it and just trust that the coaching and the players, we’re going to get better and we’re going to get through this and we’re going to stick together as a team and come out of this.

On how being benched affects his mindset…

I don’t think it should at all but if it did, I think it would affect it in a way that should make you want to go out there and play harder and do better. So if it was a tactic to wake me up or to get me going, it definitely worked because right now, I definitely feel a sense of urgency. I’ve got to go out there and play hard and I’ve got to get the job done. I’ve been saying that every week. Nothing’s changed. That’s the way I play every single week. That’s the way I prepare every single week, to go out there and get the job done.

Obviously, we haven’t done so the past three weeks, but my confidence isn’t shaken in my teammates or coaches. I’m going to go out there this week in practice and prepare the same way and even do a little bit extra to make sure that we can get the job done and we can get things turning back in our favor.

On what time Coach Lee told him he would start…

When I got into the building. The conversation was pretty simple. He just told me.

On what time he got into the building…

Pretty early.

On what extra he can do…

There’s a lot of things that can be done from a standpoint of just communication with the wideouts, a little bit of extra communication with those guys just so we can be on the same page. More communication with Nick [Mangold], the coaches, and then getting in practice and doing more in practice, doing a little bit extra after practice, just making sure that we dot all our I’s and cross all our T’s and we go into the game, just go out there and have fun and play hard.

On if he ever felt he had lost the confidence of teammates…

No, I don’t. The reminder of that is that my teammates, they all come up to me and remind me. I have guys like Jaiquawn [Jarrett] and Snacks [Damon Harrison] and all the defensive guys, the guys on offense, the receivers. They all come up to me and say, "Hey, keep your head up. We believe in you. We know we’re going to get through this."

I’m always the type of guy that’s going to be positive. I’m the steady guy and that’s pretty much the demeanor of our offense and the guys in this locker room. It tells me a lot about the character of these guys, but to have that support from the coaches, from my teammates, it makes me want to do even better, want to go even harder in practice just to make sure that those guys see that I’m giving that extra effort for them and this team.

On if he was nervous that he would not start…

No, I wasn’t nervous. I just come in here and I try to do my job to the best of my ability. When I was told that I wouldn’t be playing the second half, instead of being selfish and saying, "Oh, I should be playing," or trying to fight back, my mode switched. I had to be in support of Matt [Simms] and I tried to do that to the best of my ability. I watched those calls. I watched the plays on the sideline, took my own mental reps and I relayed things to him just as he would do for me and David [Garrard] and Mark [Sanchez] would do for me. I’m not a selfish guy, but obviously I want to play. I’m a competitor. I wasn’t nervous, but regardless of whether I would or would not start this week, I was going to prepare the same way.

On if he would want to have more designed runs and rollouts…

You know what? I don’t think it comes down to so much of the playcalling. I think Marty [Mornhinweg] has called great games and not every play, and he’ll tell you this, he’s not going to call perfect plays. No coordinator can do that. It comes down to the execution of the players. And as the quarterback, I haven’t executed to the best of my abilities these last three games, which has resulted in us not picking up enough first downs or getting enough points.

So that directly falls back on me and I’ve just got to get into a rhythm like David [Garrard] said, complete a few passes, maybe pick up a few first downs scrambling or extending plays and things will start rolling for us. But it just starts with me playing better.

On what happened on the two incompletions to David Nelson

Two bad passes. I just didn’t put the ball in the spot where he could make a play on it and those are completely on me. I reminded David of that. He’s a veteran guy but he quickly reminded me, ‘Just wash it out of your mind. We know you’re a good quarterback. We know what you can do and just get back on your horse.’

On if he misunderstood coverage on his second incompletion to Nelson…

No. I don’t know if you talked to David about that, but like I said, it was just two bad passes.

On if he feels he has to be perfect to avoid being benched…

No, no one’s perfect. I know that my coaches don’t expect me to go out there and be perfect. Now, we do strive for perfection. That’s a different thing in its own right, but no one can be perfect on the field. I don’t think I have to be perfect out there. I just think we have to do a better job as an offense and I’ve got to do a better job as the quarterback in getting us in the right play and then moving the chains.

On Kellen Winslow’s comments about some issues carrying over from practice…

That’s Kellen’s own perspective and his own point of view. If he has seen that, then the next thing to do would be to correct it. But from my point of view, I think we’ve had pretty good practices. I think we’ve prepared very hard. One thing I know is that effort is not a problem in this locker room. Every guy gives maximum effort every single day because this is our job, this is what we love and this is what we do. So we’re not going to let anything distract us. We’re going to continue to work hard and we’ll get better from this.

On what it means for him to be named the starting quarterback after being benched Sunday…

Like I said yesterday, in hindsight you could maybe say that being able to sit back and to watch things from a different perspective will benefit me maybe down the road. But as of right now I want to play every single snap7 in every single game. That’s just my competitive nature, but obviously the coaches make the decisions and in hindsight it could be what’s best for me at this point. But you have to roll with the punches. Like I said, I’m going to come in here and give my all because this is what I love to do and my teammates and my coaches deserve that. So I’m going to do that every single day and let the coaches do the ultimate decision-making.

On if he saw anything from the sideline that he had to do differently…

It’s something that I saw on the sideline and pretty much I’ve been seeing throughout my time playing. Just being able to step up in some lanes and if not make the throw, step up, take off and get two or three yards, just keep us making positive plays because it doesn’t always take a big play to swing momentum, it can be a small play here and there. Those little things ultimately end up being big things later on in the game.

On if he feels pressure to prove he’s the quarterback of the future…

No, I don’t feel any pressure. I think I’ve been trying to prove that my entire time here. Regardless if it’s year 1, year 5, or 10 years from now, it’s still going to be the same thing because no one’s job is for certain. You have to go out there and produce on the field and it happens on Sundays. So really, that’s all it comes down to.

On if he feels like he has to win over the coaches, his teammates and the fan base…

No, honestly, I think I’ve gained the respect of my teammates and coaches. The fans are going to be fans. We love them, we appreciate their support, but they’re going to be fans. We just have to roll with it and continue to play.

On what gives him the belief he can improve individually…

A lot of self-confidence, a great supporting cast, a great amount of support from teammates, great coaches who give me confidence daily, and just the fact that I know I can play in this league.

On if the last three games have dented his confidence…

Not one bit.

On if he is certain he can correct the problems from the last three games…

Yes, I am more than certain.

On if he imagined he would be a starter during the draft process…

Like I said, I’ve always had confidence in myself. You can’t dictate any situation, a lot of things are out of your control, but I always knew if I had the chance that I’d be ready for it, so that’s how I prepare myself.

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