In his eyes, this is still Geno's team, reality be damned.
Geno Smith may be the best quarterback on the New York Jets practice field right now, although that might all change come later this summer when Ryan Fitzpatrick is healthy and able to practice again. That won't be until training camp but Smith, never short on confidence or his sense of self, believes that this Jets team is still his team.
Even though he was benched last year, has shown little development or progress and the Jets brought in a veteran in Fitzpatrick with a proven track record. Still, this is his team.
“You have to expect anything, but going out there I believe this is my team. I go out there and I work hard and I try to lead the guys the best way that I can,” Smith told reporters on Wednesday. “I am not going to sit here and talk about it. I want to lead this team the right way, and I want to continue to get better as a player. We are in a position now where we have to develop a chemistry. I really hate to talk about myself, because it’s more about this team and the way that we are going, and the direction that we are going. So whatever I can do to help this team as far as leadership, as far as on the field, off the field is my focus and that’s what I try to do.”
In two NFL seasons, Smith has 5,571 yards with 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.
He admits, to a certain degree, his own shortcomings and that there will always be competition at the quarterback position. Unlike last year, however, he isn't basically gifted the starting job. There's already Fitzpatrick on the roster and the Jets could draft a quarterback or perhaps even trade for one if the right veteran becomes available. All of which means more competition and less of a grip on the starting job he's had for much of the last two years.
“I think just be more consistent. I have been working on being a more consistent leader, and that’s the biggest thing, just being a consistent leader day in and day out. Continuing to put the work in,” Smith said.
“It’s about the daily grind, it’s about staying steadfast, and staying focused and that’s what I am doing. I just want to lead and be consistent in that area. Then, obviously improve every day and just try to get (better), even if it is just a small percentage better. Just try to get better every single day.”
→ Nose tackle Damon Harrison signed his free agent tender on Wednesday.
→ Absent from Tuesday's voluntary minicamp, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and safety Calvin Pryor were present on Wednesday.