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Jets: Geno Smith Wants The Starting Job

New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith spoke with the media Saturday about his skills, competing for a starting job and Tim Tebow.

On the past 24 hours?

It?s been great. A great experience, a dream come true, to finally hear my name being called and to be a Jet is one of the things that I will carry with me for a lifetime.

On what he was thinking after the first-round ended?

From sitting in the green room for so long, thinking that you may go in the first round, it was kind of tough to stomach but, I was able to go out and have dinner with my mom and just refresh myself, clear my mind, and wake up the next day with a whole new mindset.

On how much his uncle helped him?

He helped me out tremendously. Not only from a mental standpoint but, as well as support and just emotionally to have someone like that in my corner is a tremendous blessing. I?m just blessed to have good people surrounding me.

On his interactions with the coaches?

I?ve received my playbook. Just basically touched bases with Coach (Marty) Mornhinweg, Coach (David) Lee, Mr. (John) Idzik, Mr. (Woody) Johnson, and Coach (Rex) Ryan, and basically taking a tour of everything. I?ve been here once. I?ve pretty much got a feel for the building and where I?ll be having meetings at but just getting a whole new feel for it.

On if any players on the team have reached out to him yet?

Not yet.

On if the negative articles written about him have any accuracy?

I don?t think so. It?s not for me to say. My character and my play speaks for itself. The people who?ve known me my entire life and who have coached me have all come to my defense and as far as that goes, I?m just looking towards the future and really not worrying about the past.

On making the transition to a pro-style offense?

There?s always going to be an adjustment period. Right now, my focus is just getting into that playbook and learning the terminology, making sure that I have that down first.

On his role in the West Virginia offense?

Luckily in my offense I was given a tremendous amount of freedom. The coaches, (Head Coach) Dana (Holgorsen), and the rest of the staff really trusted me with the offense and knew that I was going to take care of the ball so week in and week out, I was a part of putting together game plans and I really had fun executing in that offense. It?s one where you can really shine and really flourish and I think it helped me grow over the course of the past few years.

On his mobility?

I see that as a bonus. I see it as a positive. Not only can I play within the pocket and be a good decision maker but, I can be a playmaker at times as well. I don?t know what the plan is going ahead but, I?m here to compete and I?m going to try and use my entire skillset.

On his number one area for improvement?

As of right now, everything needs to improve. At the age of 22, at this point in my career, I think my best football is far ahead of me. I know for a fact that I?m here to put the work in and I?m going to work diligently to improve every single aspect of my game both mentally and physically.

On if he believes that he is a franchise quarterback?

My goal is to be a franchise quarterback but, as of right now, there?s a lot of work to be done. I?ve got to handle my playbook, I?ve got to get into the weight room, and start preparing myself for training camp right now.

On if there is less pressure because he was selected in the second round?

Whether or not I was picked in the first or the last round, having an opportunity to be a part of an organization in the NFL is a tremendous honor and a benefit. Not only am I part of a great organization here with the Jets but, I represent that shield - that NFL shield. I see this whole deal as everything is a positive.

On learning to make adjustments quicker?

I think everything that I?ve been through up until this point will help me. Every single game that I?ve played in, the experiences that I?ve had, both good and bad, I think will help me grow. They?ve already helped me change and grow up until this point but, I still want to continue to improve and going further on in my career I want to make sure that with the Jets that I?m coming in and competing from day one and just working extremely hard and getting better on a daily basis.

On the freedom he had to change calls at the line of scrimmage at West Virginia?

It was 100 percent freedom. I had the ability to check to any play at any given time. I?d like to thank Dana for understanding that I do work hard at this game and I take it very seriously. My preparation is one of the things that I think separated me in college from most guys. When it comes down to it, Dana knew that I was going to make the best decisions at all times, or at least try to. They gave me the ability to change formations and plays on any given down.

On his fumbles?

I think it needs to improve. Obviously, at the quarterback position I?ve got to take care of the ball. 32 fumbles is way too many and I?m going to look to improve on that.

On if he?s ready to play this season?

As of right now, that?s not my decision. My only job right now is to come in and learn the playbook, get acclimated to the system, and just continue to improve and compete.

On areas where he disagrees with his critics?

Critics don?t have a pick. The only thing that matters now is that I?m on a team and that the Jets selected me. As I?ve stated previously, despite wherever I went, I was going to come in with the same mentality, and that?s to compete and get better and that?s what I?m going to do.

On the reason he slipped to the second round?

I can?t tell you that.

On concerns about coming into a team with a starting quarterback for the past four years?

Like I said, my job is to come in and compete. I look forward to learning from David (Garrard) and Tim (Tebow) and Mark (Sanchez), guys who have been professionals in the NFL. So I look forward to that. Also learning from Coach Morhinweg and Coach Lee. Coming in Rex and Mr. Idzik have already told me that my job is just to come in and compete, so that?s what I?m going to do.

On if any other quarterbacks have reached out to him?

Not as of yet.

On what he did in the green room during the first day?

Well I just sat there. I was getting a lot of texts from everyone, ?Keep your head up,? and ?It?s going to be fine.? I responded to them to let everyone know that I was ok and it wasn?t a big issue. (I) just sat there and congratulated guys who got selected. They were all deserving and (I was) just waiting my turn.

On how tough it was on his mom and people close to him?

I just think they?re strong and I just thank them for always supporting me and being there for me. My mom, obviously it was her birthday, and it was tough to sit in that green room and not be selected in the first round, but it?s not the end of the world. I?m still going to have a chance to play in the NFL and still have a chance to make her proud, which I?ve already done by being selected and (by) being a college graduate.

On impressions he got from Coach Mornhinweg at his pro day?

I got a good feel for him, a good impression. We went out to dinner prior to my pro day and (I) was just able to sit down and talk and give them a taste of who I am and what I?m all about.

On who was at that dinner?

Coach Mornhinweg and two other scouts.

On if he received any comments on his playoff prediction?

I think it was a bit of a bold prediction, I kind of got caught up in the moment (laughter). I think going into the season every team has the same goal, and that?s to win the Super Bowl. So I don?t see it as a terribly bad thing per say, but as of right now it may be a bit of a bold prediction.

On if Coach Ryan?s previous bold predictions factored into his comments?

It didn?t, it was just one of those spur of the moment things. I?m not going to take it back but what?s done is done.

On if he heard that the Jets were considering drafting him with the 13th pick?

I got word that it was between Sheldon (Richardson) and myself, but they chose Sheldon. Sheldon?s actually a good friend of mine so I was happy for him. I stood up and congratulated him. When I went at 39, I see it as a blessing in disguise.

On why he went back to the green room the second day?

I came out the first day and I was there to represent for my University and my family and everyone. I didn?t want the perception to be, ?Hey, I?m bitter about not being selected in the first round,? and let all of those people down who support me. So I made sure that I came back, and I walked across that stage for everyone.

On why it was a ?blessing in disguise? to be selected 39th?

Well with my faith I believe that everything happens for a reason, so if it was meant for me to be selected in the first round then I would have, but I wasn?t. So the focus is not where you start, but where you finish.

On if he knows what number he will wear?

Actually I don?t. I still have lots of time to think about that.

On if he was the number one ranked quarterback by the Jets in this draft?

I?d like to hope so. I can?t really tell you that right now, but in my opinion I think I was.

On how aware he was on last year?s Jets in regards to Sanchez and Tebow?

With the media circuit and just ESPN always following things, you always see it. I?ve always thought highly of both Tim and Mark, so when you see those things, and as a quarterback, you understand exactly what?s going on.

On if a lot of playing quarterback is about the supporting cast and what he knows about this team?s supporting cast?

I believe there are a number of things that goes into play when it comes to being a successful quarterback. I think it starts with the person first, and then everything around them. But I?m in a great situation here. The Jets, I believe, have a really good team and I look forward to meeting the guys and working towards the future.

On if he always played quarterback?

(I was) always a quarterback.

On when he started playing quarterback?

I started at the age of eight.

On throwing to Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey at West Virginia?

Those guys are tremendous talents. They work extremely hard day-in and day-out of practice. For the course of four years, I can?t even count a day that they weren?t there, I mean workouts, practice, all of those things. We always held each other accountable and it?s just great to see those guys end up on the same team. I root for them and I just wish them the best.

On plans for the next two weeks before rookie mini-camp?

Just study that playbook. Get in it and try to learn it in and out. When I get back, I?m going to be prepared for mini-camp and just continue to progress and get better daily.

On if he?ll be back in West Virginia or home during that time?

I haven?t decided yet.

Source: New York Jets Media


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