- By BRIAN COSTELLO
- Last Updated: 3:59 AM, August 20, 2013
- Posted: 1:27 AM, August 20, 2013
- Jets Blog
Geno Smith’s ankle looked better yesterday. His decision making? That still needs work.
The Jets rookie quarterback was back on the field after missing Saturday’s preseason win over the Jaguars because of a sprained right ankle. Smith moved better in practice yesterday than he has since suffering the injury on Aug. 9, but he still had a rough day to start off a crucial week in the competition to be the team’s starting quarterback.
During team drills with the starters, Smith went 1-for-6 with an interception. This comes after his last practice — which featured four interceptions — was labeled “brutal” by coach Rex Ryan.
Smith appears to be trailing Mark Sanchez in the competition, but he has one last chance to make a big move on Saturday when the Jets face the Giants. Smith is expected to start, even though Ryan would not reveal his starter yesterday.
Smith, the team’s second-round draft pick, said he does not believe the Giants game will decide the competition.
“I don’t think so, not one game,” Smith said. “They’ve been evaluating me since I’ve been here. I don’t think one or two games will be able to tell you where I am because it’s still early in my career.
It’s about learning. I’ve got a lot of learning to do. Every single rep is going to be vital for my success in the future.”
Ryan said he was pleased with how Smith responded to his harsh words last week.
“He’s ready to roll his sleeves up and get better,” Ryan said.
As for that “brutal” practice, Smith said he has moved on.
“Bad days happen,” Smith said. “I don’t like to go back on the past, but I’d have to say that was one of my worst days. You’ve got to move on from it. I have a short memory.”
Sanchez had an opportunity to slam the door shut on Smith against the Jaguars but threw an interception and committed a boneheaded play at the end of the half by allowing the clock to run out and waste a scoring opportunity. Sanchez knows this is most likely the final days of the competition, saying he’s sure “a decision will be made here soon.”
Does he feel like he’s done enough to win the job?
“I don’t know,” Sanchez said. “You have to ask the coaches. I feel good about my performance and the camp I put together. It’s definitely the best camp I’ve had. Just keep improving and keep working.”
Smith worked with the starters yesterday as the Jets continue to rotate quarterbacks. Ryan would not say how he will deploy Smith and Sanchez against the Giants, but Smith has had one preseason game cut short by injury and missed another one, so playing him for an extended time makes sense.
Smith threw a terrible interception yesterday to linebacker Demario Davis. He also threw two nice deep balls that wide receiver Stephen Hill did not catch, but probably should have.
The ankle injury that hampered Smith so much last week was not as apparent yesterday, and Smith said he could play if there were a game today. He said he is relishing the opportunity this week to win the job and treating every rep as if he is the Jets’ starting quarterback.
“In this stage of the competition it’s very important to do so,” Smith said. “Whenever you get reps in the game you’ve got to maximize it. You want to prove that you belong as the starter of this team.”