Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Geno on progression: 'Mentally I've grown a lot'


Physically, Geno Smith figured he had it. Mentally, he wasn't sure. Now he is.

By all indications, the rookie will likely be the New York Jets' starting quarterback Sunday, as incumbent Mark Sanchez is still nursing a shoulder injury. Just four months after being drafted by Gang Green in the second round, Smith says he's ready.

"Well, I’ve been preparing. Physically I think I’ve always been ready," Smith told reporters Monday. "I think I have some things which is the reason why they drafted me here, to bring some of that stuff to the table. But I think mentally I’ve grown a lot.

"My grasp of the offense is to the point where I know I can get out there and execute and be out there and leading this offense and leading this team. That’s something that’s going to continue to grow, as I stated. At this point I’m ready for it."

Make no mistake, Smith was quite raw physically when he first stepped foot on the Jets' practice field, and he still has a long way to go. Smith credits quarterbacks coach David Lee for making sure his footwork and eyework are "right on point," and he'll be leaning on Lee to keep him on track.

But while the repeated reps and drills are one thing, absorbing the playbook and being able to execute and manipulate it on the fly are a completely different monster.

"I’m able to get us in and out of plays, I’m able to check into different protections, and that’s something that I couldn’t do when I first got here," Smith said. "It’s all a part of the progression. It’s only going to get better as long as I continue to study."

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