EA Q&A: Geno Sharp on Rookie Weekend

VictorStar, IDQ:What are you most excited to see from Geno Smith this season?

EA:The rookie QB is off to a great start.  Smith was impressive at rookie minicamp, zipping the ball with velocity and displaying accuracy.  He throws a pretty pass and he looks natural on the move.

I am most excited about the competition for the No. 1 job.  Quarterback is the most important position in the National Football League and the Jets are in a much better place at QB than they were in January.

No matter how good Smith looked last weekend (and he was sharp in helmets/shorts practices),  the competition really hasn't even started yet.  That will happen next week when OTAs commence and all the quarterbacks are on the field together.  Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg believes the rookie has an "opportunity to be a heck of a player in this league," but the big challenge will be learning the terminology, relaxing when the veterans are on the field and letting the game come to him.

Bob DeMarinisNorth Attleboro, MA
Either we get lucky and Geno turns into Colin Kaepernick, or we hope they really stink so we can get the next Andrew Luck in 2014. D-linemen are nice, but it's all about the QB. It has been for 10 years now.

EA:Smith is a different player than Kaepernick and the latter was drafted by a team that was loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.  Defensive linemen can be a little bit better than "nice" and John Idzik knows this considering he was part of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff that landed an explosive DT from Miami (FL) with the 12th pick of the 1995 NFL Draft — Warren Sapp.  And I am happy you mentioned the 49ers because that is a team that solidified both of their lines while resurrecting the career of one QB (Alex Smith) and slowly developing another (Kaepernick).

You need solid QB play in this league, but I would argue there are a bunch of teams that have good situations at that position.  The Jets have the potential to be better than average there because Mornhinweg and QB coach David Lee are proven mentors,  David Garrard is awfully solid when healthy, Smith is a big-time talent, Sanchez is motivated, Greg McElroy can't be forgotten and even Matt Simms can let it rip.

Joe CosentinoOcala, FLQ: What can you really know about the non- drafted rookies in just three days?

EA: Fair question.  I think you want to see how well those guys compete on the field and what they soak up during the classroom.  These players are coached up hard and they are asked to retain a lot of information.  Remember the scouts have reviewed lots of game tape on these players and the film doesn't lie.   There have been many times over the years when guys get to camp, get in the classroom and then retire after a session or two.  The NFL is a different animal.

Michale CaldieroOrmond Beach, FLQ: Who has the best shot to be our QB?

EA: The Jets are going to give all five guys a shot.  It will be interesting to see how OC Marty Mornhinweg breaks up the reps throughout  OTAs.   If you ask people who cover the team on a daily basis, their three favorites would be (in no particular order): Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez and David Garrard.   A lot of time remains until the opener, so the Jets are going to let each man give it a whirl.

Jamie BryantNew Sharon, Maine
Q: If signed at a reasonable cost, I think bringing in Charles Woodson would make a lot of sense — both for leadership and grooming the younger players. What are your thoughts EA?

Tyler FerreeEastchesterQ: Do you think that the Jets could bring in Charles Woodson?   While he is in decline, there is some tread on the tires still.

EA:The Jets already signed a savvy vet in Dawan Landry.  He knows the system and has the confidence and trust of both Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.  There are a number of young safeties with talent on this roster in Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Donnie Fletcher.  AA and Bush learned from LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith last year.  Now Dawan is here.  The training wheels have to come off at some point and let's see who steps up.   
Andrew SnapeJamaicaQ: The* *Jets should sign Dwight Freeney or John Abraham because I'm not sure about Quinton Coples.

EA: Freeney is 33 and Abraham is 35.  They can still be dangerous off the edge, but neither pass rusher is in their prime.  Q has played one season and it was a solid rookie campaign.  This dude is 23-years-old and has an unlimited upside.  Cheers with a Red Stripe!

Paul N.Queens, NYQ:My question concerns the new WR out of Tennessee. I've read he could be a premier slot receiver at the NFL level.   Do the Jets plan to move or replace Kerley? It seems to me he was really beginning to produce there.

EA: Zach Rogers had a good camp (wearing No. 15 BTW), but it is a way too premature to say the former Volunteer could be a premier slot WR.  I think he has put himself in a good position as OTAs near, but Jeremy Kerley isn't going anywhere.  Kerley did produce last year with 56 receptions, averaging 14.8 yards a clip.

John R.Rockville Centre, NYQ: I thought Jets' draft addressed almost all needs except upgrading the receivers. If Santonio is not fully recovered, there is no legitimate threat here.

EA: The Jets need No. 10 back at full strength and they also really need to Stephen Hill to make a big jump.  We are going to catch up with both of those men soon to speak about Holmes' recovery and the progress Hill is making in his first true NFL offseason.

The Green & White also have some intriguing UDFA wideouts including Rogers, Ryan Spadola and KJ Stroud.

Gary E. VazquezEast Stroudsburg, PA
Q: Based on what I've read so far it appears the Jets will be fielding a hybrid D — more of a 4-3 to put pressure on the opposing QB. Is Rex going more conventional and hoping this results in more QB sacks and consistent pressure?

EA:You will never be able to describe the Jets defense as "conventional."*  *The Jets plan on using Quinton Coples different ways because he moves well, but that doesn't mean Q is going to specialize in coverage. Coples is going to rush the passer a lot and the Jets feel they've improved their pass rush.  The Jets want to blitz when they want to — not because they have to in order to generate pressure.

Keith B.Vero Beach, FL
Q: I feel both Smith and Sanchez should factor into the Jets long-term plans. Quarterbacks develop at different speeds and success is determined by the talent assembled around them. The Jets should keep them both and find a third option in next year's draft.

EA:Let the scouts worry about the 2014 prospects. This coaching staff is not worried about next April.  GM John Idzik is letting these guys fight it out on the field.  If Smith is not ready, he will not play.  But if Sanchez does not out-perform Smith, David Garrard, Greg McElroy or Matt Simms — he won't get the rock either.  If Garrard stays healthy folks, he is a more than serviceable quarterback.  This competition should be very good.

OrlandoMexico, D.F.
Hi Eric, first of all I want to say that you are doing a great job! l love to see all the interviews with the players and coaches! I hope I can see more of that — maybe an interview with (Dee) Milliner or (Sheldon) Richardson? Are the Jets are going to add another TE ?

EA:We have done a little with Milliner and Richardson, but expect more in the future.  Despite not being in pads during rookie minicamp, Richardson was a man amongst boys.  Milliner, still recovering from shoulder surgery, will be limited until the summer.  The Jets may add another veteran tight end to the mix in the future, but a pair of non-drafted TEs were here last weekend in Boston College product Chris Pantale and Mike Shanahan out of Pitt.  Pantale flashed at times.   Primarily a blocking TE, the big target caught it well last week.   Shanahan, more of a college receiver in the Jeff Cumberland mold, also had a couple nice moments.

And our final word today belongs to Rex from Mason City, Iowa...It was a tough blow hearing about George Sauer's death. George was an outstanding receiver and my prayers go out to his family. Jets Nation has suffered a huge loss.

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