While he went through his progressions quicker and the ball came out faster, Geno Smith actually thought he was more methodical than anything this spring.
"In my mind, the game is so slow right now. I'm not playing super-fast," he said as the Jets broke minicamp in June. "I'm actually taking my time out there. I'm not rushing things."
Not in a hurry, Smith made fewer mistakes. He got rid of the ball on time and delivered with accuracy while limiting the turnovers. While last spring he struggled at times with interceptions in the red zone, this year he cashed in with touchdowns.
"The ball might come out faster, but it's a result of me actually thinking faster and moving slower with my body if that makes sense," he said. "So the release is quick and the ball gets out fast, but to me it's like everything's moving in slow-mo."
Smith, who took first-team reps all spring, has a full year under his belt with both offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo. While relegated to backup duty for most of last season, Smith believes he benefited from watching a unit that set a franchise unit record for total offense with 5,925 yards.
"I feel like I'm exactly where I need to be right now. I honestly do," he said. "Whether I played last year or didn't play last year, I think I still would have gotten to this spot that I'm in right now.
"I think being able to watch the game from afar, watch how the mechanics of the offense work, game-planning throughout the week, the terminology, how to create different things within the offense — that helps out a ton. Now you know what to do rather than trying to figure out what do, which is what I was doing myself."
Excited about his teammates, Smith called newcomer Matt Forte a "dynamic" addition and he raved about his star receivers along with the young hungry wideouts and tight ends. He referred to the veteran offensive line as "stout" and he believes the defense will be as good as any in football.
As he changed gears, Smith found comfortable footing heading into training camp.
"It's something to build on. I'm going to get with the guys and we're going to run routes and we're going to talk over scenarios," he said. "I may have a few clips and cut-ups of things we really need to improve on drastically, but it's another opportunity for me to improve on what I did in the spring."