Geno Smith works on changing perception on first day at Jets camp

Geno Smith gave himself poor grades on his first day at minicamp, but the coaching staff was satisfied. Credit: Getty Images
Geno Smith gave himself poor grades on his first day at minicamp, but the coaching staff was satisfied.
Credit: Getty Images

Following the first day of rookie minicamp, Jets quarterback Geno Smith sounded humble and contrite, often hitting on how hard he has worked at getting ready for today. In other words, he sounded nothing like the player who drew negative storylines leading up to the NFL Draft.

Smith was the target of a Pro Football Weekly report just three weeks before the NFL Draft that claimed he was “not a student of the game” and “not committed or focused.” The report played a role in Smith dropping to the Jets in the second round. Reports after the draft claimed Smith interviewed poorly and tweeted during predraft meetings with teams. The fact that he fired his agent last week only exacerbated the perception that Smith lacks maturity.

But on Friday following his first time on the field for the Jets, Smith did his best to erase that perception.

“I don’t think anyone who has worked with me or known me in the past has had anything negative to say. From what I’ve seen coaches and teammates have all said great things about me,” Smith said. “But I’m not focused on that, I’m focused on what I have here with the Jets and proving myself to my teammates and coaches. Like I said, I am trying to improve myself daily.”

It was a rocky first day at work for Smith, who at first glance lacked the composure and finesse in the pocket one would hope to see from a top pick. His downfield accuracy struggled and he bopped around the pocket with a lack of comfort and vision. His short passing game was solid but it is clear Smith is a work in progress.

The transition could be steep for Smith, despite his gaudy numbers at West Virginia. Operating out of the Airraid offense, Smith was often in the shotgun and will have to adjust to being under center with the Jets.

“[I'll be under center] probably more than recently but it felt like a natural transition,” Smith said. “Obviously there’s some things I need to clean up and I’m going work on that with [quarterback] coach [David] Lee, [offensive coordinator Marty] Mornhinweg. It didn’t feel too odd to me so I think I did a pretty good job.”

With strong athletic ability and a good arm, Smith has the potential to be a solid quarterback for the Jets. His intermediate passes always were right at the numbers of his wide receivers and in college he showed good arm strength.

He earned praise from head coach Rex Ryan for his command of the huddle and Ryan said there were no red flags in the draft process that would back up the claims made about Smith.

“Maybe I don’t know what diva behavior looks like but he didn’t do it here,” Ryan said.

Smith for his part has been putting in an effort to try to distance himself from the negative criticism. He held a meeting with his offensive line last night to go over verbiage in the huddle and he’s spoken with the three other quarterbacks on the Jets roster. In short, he’s doing what he should be doing.

For someone who isn’t supposed to be a student of the game, Smith is doing his best to sound like one.

“I don’t think it was too foreign to me. First of all, I studied my butt off to get prepared for today,” Smith said. “Then there’s more work going into getting ready for tomorrow. It’s going to be a transition but that’s expected. But I’m going to work at it and work my best to get my best foot forward.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."