Geno Smith is growing into his role as leader for the New York Jets. His teammates and coaches see it by his actions in the locker room, on the field and in the huddle. After guiding the Jets to an 8-8 record last season, he wants to lead the team to the Playoffs this season. Do do that, he is striving for “perfection.”
During this offseason, the Jets have made a push to add weapons to the fold. They came to terms with two of the top offensive free-agents in WR Eric Decker and RB Chris Johnson. They added TE Jace Amaro and receivers Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans in May’s NFL Draft. They also signed Mike Vick to push Smith for the starting role, but even the Virginia Tech product admits that it’s Smith’s job to lose. Vick is there to provide the young QB with guidance, and should things go awry on the field, step into an offense he already knows intimately.
During offseason practices and camps, Smith has worked with OC Marty Mornhinweg and quarterback’s coach David Lee to work on his footwork and familiarize himself better with the Jets’ playbook.
“Really, I’m a sponge,” Smith said. “I’m learning as much as I can. I’m learning on the fly. I’m learning every single day. I just soak it up and continue to work hard.”
Part of that learning is leaning on the quarterback brought in to challenge him. Smith is open to any advice and teaching the 13-year veteran provides.
“I think ‘G’ is a great listener, first and foremost,” Vick said. “I think any key to success in this sport at our position, you have to have the ability to listen.
“I think Geno wants to learn. He wants to be better.”
In the Jets first day of OTA’s on Tuesday, Smith took the bulk of reps during practice. In the first team period, devoted to third down, Smith took 8 of the 10 reps. During the second team period, devoted to the no-huddle, Smith took all the snaps. This shows who the team is putting their trust at quarterback at this point of the summer. If that ratio holds steady, it will be difficult for Vick to supplant Smith as the starter.
“When it comes to being on the field, I just want perfection,” Smith said. “I try and chase perfection. I try and be the best I can be at every single practice, every single rep. I think that’s what guys are seeing the most.”