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QBs Seek Consistency After Green & White

Posted Aug 3, 2014

Geno Smith, Michael Vick Strive to Improve off of Jets' Saturday Night Practice

One can say that the offense came up short Saturday night at the Green & White practice, considering none of the three units found the end zone. But members of the offense, especially Geno Smith and Michael Vick, saw the performance as a chance for growth.

Stacked up against one of the best defenses in the NFL, the quarterbacks each led one scoring drive in his four possessions. Smith took the reins of the first-team offense for three of his four series, while Vick had one drive with the ones.

Smith had an opportunity in his lone series while working with the twos in the second half of the practice at Cortland Stadium after a pass interference call on CB Darrin Walls put the ball at the 1-yard line. Three consecutive running plays were stuffed by the defensive line, and on fourth down Smith couldn't find an open receiver in the end zone and was sacked by LB Garrett McIntyre.

“We understand that we have to take full advantage of our opportunities in the red zone and we’re going to get better from it,” Smith said. “We’re going to look at tape and see exactly what went wrong and then correct it and get better at it.”

It wasn’t all bad for Smith, who unofficially was 7-for-14 for 84 yards on the night, including a beautiful 41-yard bomb to WR Stephen Hill on CB Dimitri Patterson down the sideline. He also had four first-down completions and drew two first-down penalties on the defense on his only series in the second half.

“Well, I thought it was pretty decent. I thought he did hit the one deep ball,” head coach Rex Ryan said of the second-year quarterback’s performance. “I think you’ve got to give credit to the defense. I think the defense, the coverage was pretty tight.”

When the coverage was tight during Vick’s turns under center, he wasn’t afraid to tuck the ball and run. He was the leading rusher on the evening, picking up 35 yards on two attempts. He said at 34, he’s still as fresh as ever.

“I just wanted to see how I was going to move,” he said. “You always want to test your instincts, and you never know what the feel of the game is going to be or how you are going to react to certain blitzes and pressure. I felt I moved real well in the pocket, I had some nice runs, and hopefully that will transfer over onto the field.”

His mobility was definitely seen by DT Sheldon Richardson, who said he was impressed when Vick was working with the offense.

“Try chasing him. He runs pretty good, actually,” Richardson said with a laugh. “He was jogging, he most definitely was jogging when I was chasing him, and so he still got them legs, man. Slinging the ball, too.”

Vick completed seven of his 13 attempts for 47 yards, but it was his legs that really caught Ryan’s attention.

“Oh, yeah. Shoot. My gosh,” the coach said about the veteran’s speed. “The dude can flat fly and we know he can.”

Vick said he was not disappointed that the offense failed to score a touchdown and will “take it with a grain of salt.” He said that the biggest takeaway from the practice was that he and the offense need to find stability.

“I just think consistency is what we are looking for, starting with Geno Smith, to move the ball consistently, to make the right checks, to make the right protection calls,” he said. “For the running backs to make the right cuts and the quarterback to make the right throws. [Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg] asks a lot of us as quarterbacks, and I think it’s up to us as leaders to make sure that we do everything the right way.”

Vick said that he’s excited to get back into the classroom and on the practice field after last night. He’ll get two more practices before the team heads back down to North Jersey on Wednesday for its preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night.







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