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GENO: Tempo, Enthusiasm at Today's Practice

Posted Dec 4, 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 if this was the offense’s best practice of the season…

I think we had a good practice today. I liked the way that we executed. I liked the tempo. I can tell guys definitely want to turn things around and we understand that we haven’t played well as of late, so we’re doing everything in our power to get that changed. I think that was a result of us having a good practice today. Now it’s about just building consistency and turning one day into two.

On if he is motivated by having to watch the second half from the sideline…

Yeah, it does motivate me. Like I expressed to my coaches and teammates, I never want to come out of a game, never, no matter what. It did motivate me. I think, like I said, in hindsight it could be a good thing later on down the road. Honestly, I never want to come out of a game, but I’ve got to use it as motivation and take it for what it’s worth.

On if he worries about being benched in the future if he makes mistakes…

No, I never play with those things on my mind. Marty [Mornhinweg] doesn’t want me to. He always expresses the confidence that he has in me. He always expresses be confident in my teammates and myself on the field. When I go out and play, I trust every single man out there, all 10 guys, including myself makes it 11. I just go out there and give it my all and not worry about the consequences, just go out there and play and have fun and take care of the ball.

On how he would grade the 2013 Jets draft class…

That’s not my job. My job is to go out there and play football. I think we have the right guys here in place and that goes for all of the guys in this locker room. I think this draft class definitely wants to contribute to this team. I think that’s a goal of every single one of ours, so we’re just working hard. I can tell you that we have a bunch of hard-working guys in this draft class. We don’t substitute that for anything. We just let our work speak for itself and just try our best.

On if it is impressive to have five rookie starters…

Yeah, it is impressive. It goes back to us contributing. I can remember when we first got in here, that’s one of the things we all collectively talked about. We all talked about wanting to play big minutes and to step up to the plate and help our team out. I’m not here to rate the draft class. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve got a lot of things we need to improve on. That’s really where it lies. We’re just trying to get better as a team, as individuals. That’s something we’re working towards.

On what he liked about today’s practice…

I just think the tempo. There was a lot of enthusiasm out there. I was just trying to do my best to get the guys going. Everybody came in and kind of washed out these last three weeks and just got back to work. That’s something we’ve been doing all along. I don’t want that to get confused as if we haven’t been working hard because we have. We just haven’t played as well on Sunday. The good thing is that every man knows that it’s going to take hard work to get back to where we were. We’ve just got to keep climbing. We can’t let anything else affect us outside of this building.

On what he liked about his practice…

Like I said, the tempo. I kept the tempo up with the offense. We had a pretty good day. Quarterbacks, wide receivers, I can’t recall many times the ball hit the ground and that’s a good sign for us. We’re just working to get better. We’ve got a lot of young guys but you can see the timing’s definitely getting better with the wideouts and everything else as a whole is getting better.

On if he said anything to his teammates before practice…

I didn’t have to. I communicate with those guys every single day, off day or not. We all know. We’re all men here. We all know what it takes. Like I said, I don’t think effort has ever been an effort with any one of our guys because that’s the way we’re built. That’s the kind of guys we have on this team, just hard workers. So we’re just working to get back to where we were and get things on track.

On if he looks at previous successful games to learn what he did well, such as scrambling…

I will say that’s one thing, just using my legs more, buying more time, picking up a few more first downs, picking up a few extra yards, just keeping us on schedule. That’s something that I’ve just got to do a better job at. There have been some lanes here and there. My mentality is always to be aggressive and to be an aggressive thrower. I think I can make pretty much every throw, but there’s times when I just need to tuck the ball down and run the ball.

On if he worries about putting pressure on the defense…

I don’t think it puts any pressure on us because the amount of character guys we have on defense and the support they give us. But obviously we want to put up points. We want to do things to help our team and contribute to us winning. We’ve definitely got to put up more points. We definitely understand that we have a good defense on the other side of the ball who’s going to protect us and take care of us. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of them.

When I say "we," I speak for myself mainly because most of those turnovers are on me. I’ve got to be mindful of them and just take care of the ball and pick up first downs, keep those guys rested on the sideline and allow them to go out there and eat, which they do every single week.

On what he has seen from the Raiders defense…

A tough, physical defense, veteran guys in the secondary. They have a few injuries here and there, but those guys play extremely hard. It’s going to be another tough game. This is the NFL. Every game’s tough. Every team wants to win, so we’ve got to just prepare as we should and just go out there and execute on Sunday.

On what this game means to the Jets…

It means a lot for our team. We need a win. Obviously, we’ve had a few rough weeks. But the key thing for us to do is just clear those things out of our minds, not let it affect us — nothing in the past can affect us, good or bad — and just move on from it and then go out there and have fun on Sunday.

On the feeling of making a big play with his legs…

Yeah, first of all, and I don’t want to talk about West Virginia. I’m in the NFL now, so none of that matters. I’ve definitely seen some things on tape where I could’ve used my legs some more and done some things outside of the pocket that would’ve helped us on offense. That just goes back to my own personal self-scouting and evaluation and just seeing some things that I can improve on. That’s one of them.

On if he minds getting hit while running…

No, I’m not shy of getting hit or anything like that. I do protect myself at all costs, but I don’t fear any hits.

On how rough this stretch has been for him…

It’s tougher to have a loss. Honestly, as a competitor I just hate losing more than anything else. Some of those games where we won and I didn’t do so well, it’s kind of easier to cope with some of my mistakes. But when you lose, it’s kind of harder to bear with. It’s something that I’ve honestly learned that you’ve just got to roll with the punches and get better from it. We’ve got a lot of young guys on this team, especially on offense. We’ve just got to continue to get better and just move on and use a lot of these tough stretches as motivation. It’s all about learning and that’s something that we’re learning as a whole.

On if he has had to deal with a physical or mental rookie wall…

I don’t see it. I don’t think so. As of late, I’ve been staying in the building later, trying to correct things. I haven’t hit any wall of any sort and hopefully I don’t. I just want to continue to play football and I want to continue to progress and get better and just try to contribute to this team in any way I can.

On if he can learn to recognize when to run or if it's just a natural instinct…

I would say it’s both. It’s got to be some type of natural. You’ve got to feel it. You can’t just be stepping back there, hit your fifth step and be ready to go. You’ve still got to go through your progressions, you’ve got to feel out the defense. When there’s lanes and opportunities, you take them. Also, it’s sometimes just being able to recognize the coverage, see if it’s Cover-2, Cover-2-Man or something and they don’t put a spy on me and there’s an opportunity to run, that would be one of those chances. I’ve been putting that in the back of my mind. If it’s there, take it. I think that will open some more things for us on offense.

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