QBs: It's Important Just to Practice

Transcripts of news conferences with quarterbacks Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez after Sunday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

QB GENO SMITH

On how his ankle felt during practice…

It felt good. Obviously the ankle isn't full strength right now, but I felt pretty good out there. I was limping a little bit. It's just something that you've got to work past, you've got to get through. I felt pretty good.

**

On if he felt it was important to practice today to help win the quarterback competition…**

I felt it was important just to practice. You can't miss a day of practice. I pride myself for being out there at all times and one little ankle injury wasn't going to keep me from practicing and competing with my teammates.

On if he had to fight with the trainers or coaches to let him practice today…

Not at all. There's an understanding and the trainers did a great job of keeping me in treatment all day yesterday, and today it was basically go out there and do as much as you can. As long as I'm out there I'm going to give it 100 percent and that's what I try and do.

On if he felt that he was a little slower today because of his ankle…

Of course, yeah. I was slower. My ankle isn't back to full strength yet, but I was pushing it. I pushed through it and I had a pretty good day of practice.

On if his ankle hurts when he drops back…

Not really hurting. It's just kind of sore and just not very strong right now.

On if the trainers are calling his ankle injury a sprain…

I wouldn't say a sprain. It's just a minor ankle injury. I'm not really sure. We had X-rays, we did an MRI and had great results. Nothing showed up, so pretty much just a little ankle injury.

On if he had a serious discussion with the coaches and trainers about sitting out practice today…

No. The plan was to go out there and see how much I could do and as long as I'm out there on the practice field I'm going to give it 100 percent and that's what I try and do.

On if he has gotten any indication if he will start Saturday night vs. Jacksonville…

No not yet.

On if he was limping at all during practice…

Yeah, sure, I had a bit of a limp. My ankle isn't 100 percent. It's only been a day since the occurrence. It's just about continuing to get rehab and treatment and see how it goes day by day.

On how he was able to escape the rush during goal line at the end of practice…

I would say it was a bit of adrenaline. Marty [Mornhinweg] was staying on me. He kept telling me, "Don't limp, don't limp." I was just out there trying to give it my best and continue to compete in practice. When the play was called, it's not like I can take myself out, so I had to work through it.

On if it was easier on the ankle to roll out than drop back…

It's no different. It's pretty much the same thing. You just have to push through it. It's not going to be 100 percent. Just got to push through it.

On how he felt about the offense's performance in the preseason game at Detroit…

The time that I was in, I think the offense did a pretty good job. One thing we needed to correct was penalties and that's something that hurt us. We weren't able to sustain drives and that's something we need to do a better job of, moving the chains and hopefully we can get points on the board.

On if he thought it would be detrimental for him to miss a day of practice…

I don't know. I don't plan on missing any days. As long as I have the chance to compete and practice, I'm going to be out there.

On the Jets fans in New York City not being able to watch the Jets games on CBS…

I suspect they'd be pretty upset. I know that Jets fans are diehard fans and they want to follow their team as any other fan would. Hopefully that can get settled so they can watch the games.

On if he is still excited about his play in the preseason game after watching the video…

Obviously, there's room for improvement. Nothing was perfect. Overall, I think I did a pretty good job. We speak as a whole and as a group. The offense as a whole, we didn't put points on the board. I think we had two or three 3-and-outs, so that's never good. We've got to do a better job of sustaining drives and when I'm in there, I've got to make sure that we don't have any penalties or turnovers, just do a better job of getting the ball down the field and progressing the offense.

On why he thought Coach Mornhinweg was telling him not to limp…

I mean, that's Marty. He doesn't want me out there limping. He's that type of coach. He's going to coach me hard. He's going to coach all of us hard. That's the way he is. He's an old-school coach. He told about Brett Favre and the way he played through every single injury, so I try to be the same way.

On if he thinks it is important his teammates think he can play hurt…

Of course, those guys, they're hitting non-stop. This is a contact sport, a very physical and violent game. And those guys are constantly putting their bodies on the line, so a little injury such as an ankle shouldn't keep me out of practice. It's important to show those guys that no matter what happens, I'm always going to come out there and give it my best.

On if he should have sat out practice since it's August…

I don't think so. I think this is one of those injuries where it's best to push through it, it's best to get out here. You don't want the ankle to get stiff and get tight on you, so the more you can flex it, the more you can get out here and run, it helps. It helps strengthen the ankle. It helps me get back into the groove as well as stay on pace with the progress I was making throughout camp.

On improving personally…

Overall, just moving the offense, getting first downs, whether it's third-and-short or third-and-long. We had a few third downs that we didn't convert. And as the quarterback, of course, we want to work on that as a team, but you also want to put some of that burden on yourself because that's what this game's about, converting those first downs. Usually, it depends on the quarterback to do so.

On how he can convert more third downs…

Just getting it done, whatever there is to do, just getting it done.

On if they were looking to take a shot down the field on the play he was hurt…

We were going to take a shot on that play. We had a good play designed and they did a good job taking it away. I was able to elude pressure and it was just one of those freak accidents. You can never count on that happening. It's kind of like once in a million. Luckily, it wasn't too significant and I was able to get up and get back to practice.

On if he has had ankle issues in the past…

Never.

On if he looks forward to getting Joe McKnight and Chris Ivory back…

Yes, we love those guys and we hope they can contribute. We expect a lot out of those guys. To get Joe back, to get Chris back, along with other guys who have been nicked up, is going to really help us out as an offense.

On if it is harder to gauge the offense without McKnight, Ivory and Santonio Holmes…

Yeah, Tone is a big-time player, a key contributor for us, so we have to make sure we just get those guys back healthy and continue to get better as an offense. The guys that are out there have to step up and we all have to do a great job just competing, practicing and getting better.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On how crucial this week of practice is…

It's huge. I mean, we want to improve upon last week. We want to get through a bunch of corrections from the game and then see if we can transition into this next game plan, if you will. I know it's just preseason so it's not a full game plan, but just getting your mind refocused, getting into that season-type mode instead of just practice every day, building up to something each week. So it's a good runthrough of that scenario and we'll be ready.

On how he assesses his play against Detroit after watching the video…

I think just on that screen pass, just to dirt it a little sooner, just say, "If it's a dead play, it's a dead play" and let it go. But I think we did a ton of great things out there and a lot of things we can improve upon. It's the first game. You get the first-game jitters out for these young guys and now we'll see how they play in the second game.

On if coaches have made a quarterback rotation for this week…

No, not really. I mean, we're just on our two-two deal.

On if he finds himself looking at his footwork…

I think Coach [David] Lee just puts an emphasis on it and he was pleased with the way our footwork held up in the pocket and then having to move a little bit but not necessarily breaking contain and just staying in there, trusting the guys up front. And that was one of the things that really came to life on the film was watching the guys up front. Even if they gave up a little bit of ground on a pass-rush scenario or situation, they were right back in there to stay firm and keep them out of the quarterback's feet and keep us free. I thought that first unit looked really good and it was nice to see them play as a first group there for the first time.

On if the interception thrown for a touchdown overshadows his other play…

No, not at all. I mean, you just bounce right back and don't even worry about it. You correct it and next time just throw it in the dirt.

On if there are things he can do to correct false-start penalties…

We can keep repping it in practice, but at the end of the day it's just got to be a mental focus and it's got to be something that guys are so well-versed in, we've repped it so many times that we've got to use that as a weapon. We'll continue to improve on that.

On the offense clicking during the hurry-up...

I don't want to speak for Marty [Mornhinweg], you've got to talk to Marty about it, but I think we got into a rhythm. I think we just got into a good rhythm and it allows you to play fast and get rolling there, so that was pretty nice.

On if he would prefer more hurry-up offense…

Whatever Marty wants. I feel good if we're taking our time, if we're in a four-minute situation or in two-minute, it doesn't matter.

On the biggest adjustment to the offense…

I guess the verbiage is just different. Every year you learn a new system, speaking that new language takes a little time and it takes practice and preparation so we're still in that mode of mastering it and getting used to it.

On what it means to the fans that some games are blacked out…

I guess, I don't know, find a friend who's got the game or go to a restaurant with the game. I don't know. That's too bad. We'd love to have our fans watch us as much as they can, so whatever that means. Sorry.

On if Geno Smith made a statement by practicing with an injury…

I don't know. I mean, he's a tough guy, yeah. I don't know. Ask him.

On if he assumes Smith will start Saturday…

I have no idea. I have no idea. I just take it one day at a time. So as soon as they tell me, I'll know.

On the adjustment he has had to make getting the ball out quicker…

I think a lot of that stuff is happening because of the offense. You don't have to adjust to it too much, it just happens. The reads happen fast, the plays come in fast, you're up at the line of scrimmage fast. Marty is all about tempo and getting the pace going and get us into a groove. I think Marty does a great job of mixing up calls and it feels good. It's nice to change things up.

On why he likes playing at a fast pace…

It just gets you in a groove. You just get rolling. Good play, bad play, indifferent, it doesn't matter. You just keep going to the next play. It's what you're practicing in practice but it's hard. There's so many breaks, there's so much stoppage time or whatever it is, personnel subs and stuff. But Marty expects on game day for it to be fast.

On if the verbiage in the offense is shorter than other offenses…

No, these aren't short. These are not short. They're not short.

On if the offense is faster because Mornhinweg calls plays faster… I mean, the plays are in quick. He's in your headset right away. So you'd better be ready, you'd better hear the personnel call. You've just got to be on your toes.

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