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GENO: Playing Back at Home Is a Comfort

Posted Nov 27, 2013

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

On if he enjoys throwing the ball downfield…

I enjoy throwing the ball, obviously, as a quarterback. When you get a chance to take shots, it’s always fun, you give your guys an opportunity to make plays. I think we’ve done that in the past, maybe not as much as we did before due to some circumstances. It’s something we’re fully capable of it and we enjoy doing it. When the plays get called and when the time is right, we’ll do it.

On what circumstances prevent them from throwing the ball down the field…

Just shuffling parts, it’s the NFL, we have guys that are injured, we have guys coming back off injuries. The precision is huge especially when you talk about lower percentage passes like those ones going down field. It’s something we’ve been working on. I don’t think we’ve shied away from it or gotten away from it, I just think we haven’t executed it as well as we’ve done in the past. I think we have to get back to executing better, it’s something we’ve been emphasizing as players, we’re taking it upon ourselves and being accountable, [we] just want to go out there and play better.

On if he thinks the coaching staff has shied away from throwing the ball down field…

I don’t think so. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to take shots down the field. One thing is that defenses are keying on that and playing us to that. They are trying to take that away. We just have to do a better job executing.

On if he has noticed teams are stacking the box against them…

Yeah, I noticed it, especially in the last game. They had two really good [defensive backs], I think they trusted those guys to go one-on-one out there. They definitely played the run a little more, especially with the weather conditions, [with] the winds swirling and howling. That’s something to be expected. We don’t make any excuses. If we run the ball and the box is stacked, we still have to get the yards, block and run the ball. And then if we pass the ball, we have to make plays down the field. We just have to execute better.

On Miami’s defense…

[They are] very tough up front, [and those are] active guys up front. [They are] big in size, quick ends, kind of like the ones we saw last weekend. On the back end, [they have] veteran guys in the secondary. [They have] very fast, run ahead linebackers. They all play together. They’re going to mix up the coverages and do a lot of things you would expect facing a rookie quarterback. It’s going to be huge for me to use my eyes, work my feet, be able to move around the pocket and buy some time. [I need to] just execute, work in the game plan within myself and pick up first downs.

On using the Wildcat…

It’s whatever is called, we have to run. Honestly, I like all of the plays that are called. I know that Marty [Mornhinweg] spends a ton of time developing the game plan for us, one that will put us in the best situation. I just think we need to execute the plays a little bit better. I don’t want to speak on what [Joe] Flacco said because that’s his opinion. I think we just need to do a better job executing the plays that are called.

On if using the Wildcat disrupts his rhythm…

No, not for me. Every single time I get an opportunity to throw the ball, whether it’s a few times in a row or whether we run the ball a few times and then dial up a pass, I feel good. I feel in rhythm. That’s the reason we practice it on the practice field. You have to be confident, I’m always confident in my guys. I just think a few of those passes, had I put them in some better spots, they would have been able to come down with it. I take accountability for it and [I] just need to improve on some things.

On who helps him stay confident…

I wouldn’t say I have to dig deep, as you guys know, I’m pretty much always confident despite what goes on. I talk with David a lot, both Davids, quarterbacks coach David Lee and then David Garrard and they do a great job of keeping things in perspective. David Garrard does a great job of using some of his past experiences to help guide me and Coach Lee as well. So having those guys in my corner, having that support system really helps me out and it really gets me through some of those tough times.

On if defenses stacking the box should help open up the passing game…

Yeah, it should and like I said, it just comes down to us executing better on the outside and me throwing the ball better. That’s something that when you’re throwing the ball down the field, it’s not ever a high percentage pass, unless the guy’s wide open, so it takes a ton of precision and it’s something that, quite honestly, I haven’t been as precise as I was in the first couple games. So I just have got to get better with that and it’s something I’ve been working on and taking upon myself to get better at.

On whether the team’s not running as many deep routes or Smith is deciding not to throw the ball down the field…

We’ve taken shots and like I said, early on in the season I hate to talk about the past, but early on, we we’re more precise and that starts with me. As of late, I think we’ve kind of just haven’t hit them as much as we did early on in the season. So it just comes back to us executing better and just being confident. Like I told the guys, I’m always going to be confident in them and I’m always going give them that opportunity to go up and get the ball and if I put it in some better spots for them, I think they’ll come down with it. So I’ve just got to be more precise with my throws, see it a little bit better, get the ball out of my hands quicker and I’m pretty sure those guys will come down with it.

On how to prepare for Miami’s defense that is second in the league in interceptions…

[I’m] studying a ton of film. They mix up the coverages, so that allows guys to be in multiple spots and their safeties do a great job at disguising coverages as well. So my eyes are going to be key. Seeing both safeties, seeing all the guys on the field, all 11 defenders and throwing in rhythm, throwing it on time, putting it in the right spots for my guys and allowing them to catch and run.

On what the veterans have told Smith about the Jets-Dolphins rivalry…

Expect it to be pretty much like all the games we’ve played. Hard fought, going to come down to a couple plays. Usually it comes down to that turnover margin, that quarterback rating, so it’s going to be key for me to come around and play well.

On playing back at home…

It is a comfort. We enjoy playing in front of our home fans and having home field advantage, but we’ve got to go out and play no matter what it is. We’ve done a pretty good job at home so far, but I think we’ve just got to continue to keep that up and do better on the road.

On how much of a factor is it when receivers are in and out of practice due to injury…

I don’t like to make any excuses. The guys that we’ve had, who’ve came [in] and filled in for some guys that have been hurt have done a tremendous job at picking things up and running with it. Guys like Greg Salas, David Nelson, Zach Sudfeld, all those guys have come in and been able to contribute for us, even if it’s been a small portion, they’ve all helped. So just getting guys back healthy is going to help us out, as well as just me playing better, being more precise and making better throws.

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