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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 cant happen. (I) dont 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 Im pretty sure Ill get there in some point and time.

On the interceptions against Buffalo

I was saying it cant 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. Thats 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, well have to do it. I wouldnt say we want to sit there and take a shot every single time, because the percentages arent 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, its 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. Its 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

Thats huge and it is a saving grace, but we cant always rely on that. Like I said, weve got to find ways not to turn the ball over and its easier said than done but it has to happen. I think were going to continue to emphasize it. Its something that weve always emphasized and eight turnovers in three games, is way too much, so were going to get better. My job is to protect that football and Ive 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 were 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. Youre not going to win every single play at this level, so many times Ill have to do my best at recognizing that hey the play isnt 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 Im honored, but I really dont look at stats much. I dont see it as this huge feat. Im 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 well get better at.

On Coach Mornhinwegs demeanor in the film room today

Marty wasnt too happy and none of us are. Like I said, weve got to eliminate that. We dont want to make him mad, because he can get at you. We just have to eliminate those mistakes and continue to play ball. Weve been playing hard, weve been playing good footbal, but at times I think we have some mental lapses and it tends to hurt us at times.

On what its like in the huddle following a penalty

We put it behind us. Whoever makes the mistake, we put it right behind us. We dont want guys dwelling on the fact that they made a penalty or a turnover. So youve got to put it behind you and just continue to play. I mean theres always another play. And then in practice we do pushups. We emphasize not turning the ball over. Theres all those things in effect that we do in order to eliminate that. No ones perfect, but at least we emphasize it. Were 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. Its never a joking matter. Like I said, we just have to do a better job of not letting that happen and I think well 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 Im always going to be hard on myself. I never want to throw interceptions and he doesnt want to see it. Its 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. Hes good with that as far as, dealing with it. Like I said, I know it doesnt make him happy, but he usually doesnt show too much emotion.

On whether the distinction to make the tough throw has always been a fine line for him

Yeah, its always been that way. Like I said, Ive always been an aggressive player and at times it can get me in trouble if I dont understand the situation, if I try to force the ball into some places that clearly the ball cant 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 dont 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 well 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, thats 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, thats fine, but Im in the situation that we want to win games. We dont 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. Weve got a long ways to go. Its only been three games. Weve got a long ways to go. Weve got to continue to improve and not worry about the outside distractions or trying to prove anyone wrong because thats when well get in trouble. As long as guys continue to stick to their (grounds) and just work hard, try to improve, I think everyones going to get better and thats whats 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 were 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, well 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 hes getting. Hes always been a wiley vet, so he knows how to get open even when hes not feeling 100 percent. He makes the tough catch. Hes one of those guys you can always really on and its good to have a guy like that on your side.

Source: New York Jets Media


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