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QBs: Some Early Study on the Buccaneers

Posted Sep 2, 2013

Transcript of Mark Sanchez's and Geno Smith's news conferences in the locker room following the Jets' Monday afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:

QB GENO SMITH

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

No, not yet. It’s only Monday so we’ll see as the days go by.

On how he prepared over the weekend…

This weekend was pretty simple. I had some time off. I came in, got treatment, did little things to get myself better for the week. Other than that, I had some time off, tried to relax a little bit, kind of tone down. I’ve been going really hard throughout camp so I just had some time off.

On if the ankle is closer to 100 percent…

Getting there. It’s getting better. I’ve been treating it daily. Every single day it’s felt better. I’m able to do a lot more now than I was able to do then. It’s just constantly getting better and it’s something that I’ll continue to look at and continue to work at.

On if he feels ready to start…

Yes, sir. I’ve been preparing extremely hard and I think I’ve gotten a lot better. Like I said, this is only the beginning. I’ve got a lot to learn and I’m preparing for everything that comes my way. If my chance is Sunday, I’m going to go out there with the intent to lead my team to victory and that’s just the way it is. I’m always going to play like that, be aggressive. I’m never going to hesitate, never going to shy away from anything, and just go out there and play ball.

On his progression throughout the preseason…

I think it went well from a standpoint of just tremendous growth mentally, the physical things that come along as you continue to rep it and get better at it on the practice field. Coach [David] Lee does a great job at constantly drilling us and making sure that my footwork, where my eyes are, all of that stuff is right on point. But mentally I feel a lot better in the offense. I’m able to get us in and out of plays, I’m able to check into different protections, and that’s something that I couldn’t do when I first got here. It’s all a part of the progression. It’s only going to get better as long as I continue to study.

On if he has been pleased with the feedback from the coaching staff…

Yeah, it’s honest. We’re all in this thing together. I’m my own biggest critic but I do have coaches who stay on me daily. I respect that. They’re honest and they always give it to us the way that it should be, which is the absolute honest response that you need and it’s only going to help us get better as players.

On his relationship with coordinator Marty Mornhinweg…

We have a great relationship. Marty’s a guy who I respect a lot. He’s well respected in the NFL, one of the best OCs out there. He’s a great guy to learn from and he’s coached a number of tremendous quarterbacks, some guys that hopefully I can be mentioned amongst their names. Like I said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and he’s my coach and I listen to him and take heed to every single thing he says.

On his biggest strength and weakness…

I don’t want to put too much emphasis on strengths and weaknesses. I think my game as a whole is something that’s steadily improving. Like I said, it’s only going to get better. I think right now, at the point that I’m at, I’m in a pretty good spot. I have a lot of opportunity here to showcase my talents and we’ll be able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses based on my play in the games.

On if he has studied Tampa Bay on game video from this preseason or from last season…

Both. I watched last year’s tape, some of the final games they played in which were a lot of close games, some NFC games. They were playing some spread teams with some similar looks to what we have. I also watched the preseason. That’s pretty much the gist of it, just watched every single thing I could get my hands on.

On if his teammates have given him tips on facing Darrelle Revis…

We all know about Revis. Basically from talking to Mark [Sanchez], talking to our personnel guys around here. If you talk to anyone in this locker room, they’ll let you know when healthy he's one of the best if not the best corner in the game. He’s the guy you definitely have to pay attention to on the field.

On if he watched any Jets defensive video of Revis…

I mean, I don’t think it’s necessary. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. You pretty much get the idea of what kind of player he is based on his reputation.

On when he started watching video on the Buccaneers…

Some time last week, about when I got the word that I wouldn’t be playing in the final preseason game. I took it upon myself to go ahead and get some early studying in.

On if he started studying the Buccaneers by himself…

Yeah, I got in by myself. But I do have resources around here that I lean on, Coach Lee, Mornhinweg, even the media guys, whoever. Anybody that I can get an honest response out of that can help me leading up to this game.

On what makes him think he is ready to start…

Well, I’ve been preparing. Physically I think I’ve always been ready. I think I have some things which is the reason why they drafted me here, to bring some of that stuff to the table. But I think mentally I’ve grown a lot. My grasp of the offense is to the point where I know I can get out there and execute and be out there and leading this offense and leading this team. That’s something that’s going to continue to grow, as I stated. At this point I’m ready for it.

On the biggest lesson he learned from the Giants game…

A number of lessons. The biggest one I’ll say is some big plays are going to be there but you’ve got to minimize the mistakes, especially with the defense like the one that we have, one of the best, I think, in the league. Minimizing mistakes but still being aggressive. I’m a naturally aggressive player and that’s one of the reasons why they like me here. As long as I continue to be aggressive while minimizing mistakes, not putting us in terrible situations, not turning the ball over, all of those key things, we’ll be fine.

On how much better he feels throwing the football with a healthier ankle…

It’s night and day. Leading up into the injury I was spinning the ball pretty good and then I got injured. You can never really tell how much it affects you until you don’t have it anymore. That drive I always had, and it’s something that’s natural. About a couple practices ago I stepped out on the field and was able to drive it again and the ball is flying out of my hands again and it just felt extremely great to have that back and it also builds the confidence when you’re out there throwing the ball.

On if he has gained the confidence of those around him…

I believe so. When I’m in the huddle, when I step on the practice field, when I come in this building, guys are greeting me. I had Antwan [Barnes], who texted me and was all happy-go-lucky and telling me how much he was excited for me and all of those things. I think the guys around here respect the fact that I just work hard. I’m never going to let anything outside of this building affect me. I don’t pay attention to anything else besides my teammates and my coaches.

On how he moved past the Giants game…

Well, it’s easy to move past a game like that. As a quarterback you’ve got to have a short memory. You can’t let what happens in the past affect you in the future. I took it as a learning experience, another steppingstone in my career, and was able to move on from it pretty easily.

On if he has been told he will start Sunday…

Not yet.

On if he knows he will start based on Sanchez’s injury…

Mark’s status, I’m not 100 percent sure on, but I’ll always prepare as a starter and that’s kind of the way I’m going to go about things here. We’ll find out in a couple days. I think Mark’s status is very uncertain right now but we’ll see.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On how he is feeling…

I’m feeling better each day, just keep rehabbing and hopefully I’ll be back soon.

On the Jets signing Brady Quinn

I know that they just got rid of Greg [McElroy], he went to Cincinnati. I don’t know, just keeping a veteran guy around as an emergency guy, a guy who’s played quite a bit. Hopefully he’ll help us.

On if he is still day-to-day opposed to week-to-week…

Same.

On if he is still aiming to start on Sunday…

I’m trying, I’m trying. We’ll make a good push this week and see where I’m at. You just want to take this thing slow, take it the right way, make the right progression without reinjuring yourself.

On what he was able to do in practice…

I’m not going to get into the rehab process or what stage we’re at. I just know it's feeling better every day.

On if he thinks he could be out for a month…

I don’t know. It’s day to day

On if he is able to throw…

I’m not going to get into the rehab process, just know it’s getting better every day

On if he is worried about losing his roster spot…

No, I don’t really think about that. I just think about getting out on the field as soon as possible.

On his frustration level…

You never want to be injured, especially when things are going well, things are heading in the right direction. It’s just too bad that had to happen.

On if he needs a certain number of throws or practice days to be game-ready …

I can’t really speak to that. I’m just taking it day to day and doing everything I possibly can to get back on to the field.

On if he ever thinks about getting a fresh start somewhere else…

No. I don’t really think about that. I just think about getting back on the field as soon as I can and helping this team.

On if he has been preparing for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay…

Of course, we started watching film last week as soon as that last game was over. It’s a good group, a really good group, a tough defensive front. They really improved their defensive backs and their back end there. It’s going to be fun to see Darrelle [Revis] and all those guys playing.

On if he has shared his insight about Revis to his teammates…

Everything you know about the guy, you try and pass around to the other guys and make sure they know. But a lot of them have been here and played against him. We’ll be as best prepared as we can. We know that he’s one of the best in the league, if not the best. If anybody can come back strong, it’s him.

On if Revis has a weakness that they can try to exploit…

I don’t know. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. Like I said, he came back from a hamstring injury pretty strong. He’s one of those guys that’s just such a competitor. He’ll will his way back and will his way to make plays like he always has. He’s never going to lose his instincts — he’s one of the most instinctual players in the game. He’s good. They have [William] Gholston, they have [Mark] Barron, who looked pretty good last year as a rookie and now he’s going into his second year, so now he’s going to be more comfortable. It’s a good group.

On if he is concerned he is losing the starting job due to his injury…

No, not really. I've just got to come back as soon as possible and keep rehabbing.

On if he feels like he is in limbo…

Not really. I feel like I’m rehabbing.

On if he has a timetable in his head for when he will be back on the field…

It’s the same thing I’m telling you, day to day. I’m trying to get back every day.

On what the downside is to revealing if he is able to throw…

I don’t know. I’m not really getting into it.

On what his pain level is…

I guess I’ll just say its feeling better every day. Every day, with more and more time, it gets better and better.

On if his injury is being measured by how he feels or with a medical diagnosis…

We’ll let you know as soon as we can.

On if he has been told not to reveal details about his injury…

I’m not going to get into any of that, any of the rehab stuff, what the injury is. I just told you I’ll try to be back every day.

On how much he is in control of the pace of his rehab…

Listen, I trust the trainers, I trust our doctors, I trust knowing my body. We’ll take all of those things into account, what’s best for me, what’s best for the team and move forward at a day-to-day pace.

On if it would be frustrating to lose the starting job due to his injury…

There’s nothing I can do about it. I've just got to keep rehabbing and try to come back as soon as possible.

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