Can Geno Smith Save Rex Ryan’s Job?

New York Jets Smith carries the ball after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter during their NFL football game in East Rutherford
New York Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith spoke to the media Monday on whether he feels like the offense has proven people wrong through the first three weeks.

On looking back at the interceptions on tape…
It just can’t happen. (I) don’t want to get into any specifics but, I mean all in all, we have, I have to find a way to eliminate those. It comes with time and patience, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get there in some point and time.

On the interceptions against Buffalo…
I was saying it can’t happen. Regardless of what happened, how it happened, it has to be eliminated in order for us to improve as an offense.

On the element of the offense that allows him to stretch the field…
Well, Marty (Mornhinweg) does a phenomenal job of taking what the defense gives us. They pressed us a bunch so it was necessary for us to go down field and for guys to win down field and they did so. That’s all we try and do every week – take what they give us, be efficient and when the chances are there, obviously take them and complete them.

On when they attack down the field if it is by choice or a necessity…
If need be, we’ll have to do it. I wouldn’t say we want to sit there and take a shot every single time, because the percentages aren’t as high. In those certain situations, with guys like Tone (Santonio Holmes), Clyde (Gates), Stephen (Hill) and Jeremy (Kerley), the tight ends, Jeff (Cumberland) and Kellen (Winslow) going down the field, it’s always a great opportunity for us to move the ball and just attack in the vertical offense.

On how much the success of the passing game was due to a productive running game…
It was a bunch. I think we had a balanced effort. It was particularly impressive the way Bilal (Powell) ran and the way the offensive line continued to open holes for him. Once we get Chris (Ivory) back to full strength and get other guys involved, I think this running game is really going to help us out. It’s fun to see those guys run like that and it definitely helps me out and eases some pressure.

On how much of saving grace is has been that when the offense turns the ball over, the defense has been stout…
That’s huge and it is a saving grace, but we can’t always rely on that. Like I said, we’ve got to find ways not to turn the ball over and it’s easier said than done but it has to happen. I think we’re going to continue to emphasize it. It’s something that we’ve always emphasized and eight turnovers in three games, is way too much, so we’re going to get better. My job is to protect that football and I’ve got to start sooner (rather than) later to do that.

On whether he noticed that he was doing a better job of getting rid of the ball to avoid taking sacks…
I mean for one, the offensive line did a phenomenal job picking up blitzes. Running backs were picking up blitzes, going in there and being tough with the linebackers. To have no sacks is great, but we’re always looking at the negatives, so not having penalties. I think we had 11 and those two turnovers are things will emphasize in practice this week and try to get better at.

On the thin line between making a tough play and not forcing a throw…
You know what, I think it ultimately comes down to managing the game, knowing the situation, knowing when you can take those chances, when you can take your shots and knowing when you have to pull it down sometimes and just take the play. You’re not going to win every single play at this level, so many times I’ll have to do my best at recognizing that hey the play isn’t there. Maybe throwing it away, maybe gaining some yards with my legs and then just keeping us on schedule.

On being the first Jets rookie quarterback in history to have 300 yards passing and two touchdowns in a game…
I mean I’m honored, but I really don’t look at stats much. I don’t see it as this huge feat. I’m more impressed that the fact that we won the game. That we overcame 11 penalties and two turnovers on offense. That we have a lot of room for improvement and things that we’ll get better at.

On Coach Mornhinweg’s demeanor in the film room today…
Marty wasn’t too happy and none of us are. Like I said, we’ve got to eliminate that. We don’t want to make him mad, because he can get at you. We just have to eliminate those mistakes and continue to play ball. We’ve been playing hard, we’ve been playing good footbal, but at times I think we have some mental lapses and it tends to hurt us at times.

On what it’s like in the huddle following a penalty…
We put it behind us. Whoever makes the mistake, we put it right behind us. We don’t want guys dwelling on the fact that they made a penalty or a turnover. So you’ve got to put it behind you and just continue to play. I mean there’s always another play. And then in practice we do pushups. We emphasize not turning the ball over. There’s all those things in effect that we do in order to eliminate that. No one’s perfect, but at least we emphasize it. We’re trying to improve and I think we will.

On whether anybody cracked a joke in the huddle about all the penalties…
Oh no, there were no jokes being made about that, I mean, especially at that point in time in the game. It’s never a joking matter. Like I said, we just have to do a better job of not letting that happen and I think we’ll be fine.

On what he said to EJ Manuel after the game…
I shook his hand, told him good game and pretty much walked off. That was it.

On what was directed at him when Coach Mornhinweg was breaking down the film…
It was directed at us all. In my case, he knows that I’m always going to be hard on myself. I never want to throw interceptions and he doesn’t want to see it. It’s something that we talk about constantly. I even talk about it with him on the sidelines, just figuring out ways of not letting that happen. He’s good with that as far as, dealing with it. Like I said, I know it doesn’t make him happy, but he usually doesn’t show too much emotion.

On whether the distinction to make the tough throw has always been a fine line for him…
Yeah, it’s always been that way. Like I said, I’ve always been an aggressive player and at times it can get me in trouble if I don’t understand the situation, if I try to force the ball into some places that clearly the ball can’t be completed. Like I said, I need to be mindful of the fact that we have a great defense here, a great running game, (a) great offensive line and a ton of weapons surrounding me, that I don’t have to necessarily make every single play or every single throw and I can rely on those guys. As long as I continue to build on that I think we’ll be fine in that are in the near future.

On not seeing the linebacker on the second interception…
Yeah, they schemed it up, came out of halftime and you could tell they had a plan. I mean, that’s part of learning in this game. But like I said, I hate to use that as an excuse (me) being a rookie and all that, that’s fine, but I’m in the situation that we want to win games. We don’t want turnovers and we have to eliminate it.

On whether he feels like the offense has proven people wrong through the first three weeks…
No not at all. We’ve got a long ways to go. It’s only been three games. We’ve got a long ways to go. We’ve got to continue to improve and not worry about the outside distractions or trying to prove anyone wrong because that’s when we’ll get in trouble. As long as guys continue to stick to their (grounds) and just work hard, try to improve, I think everyone’s going to get better and that’s what’s going to make us a better offense.

On whether he feels like they have enough weapons to be a successful offense…
Of course. We have a ton of weapons and we’re led by a veteran offensive line filled with guys who have a ton of experience and guys who are very talented. That offensive line I think is one of the best there is and I think as long as we rely on those guys, we’ll be fine.

On whether he sees Holmes gaining confidence with each game…
Yeah, the more he gets healthy, the more comfortable he gets in the offense, the more he gets back to full strength and full speed, I think the better he’s getting. He’s always been a wiley vet, so he knows how to get open even when he’s not feeling 100 percent. He makes the tough catch. He’s one of those guys you can always really on and it’s good to have a guy like that on your side.

Source: New York Jets Media

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