It’s a new team, a new environment and a new role for Geno Smith.
The former New York Jets starting quarterback says he is embracing the competition as he battles for a backup job with the New York Giants.
Smith signed with the Giants this past offseason, leaving a Jets team that drafted him four years ago in the second round. By the end of his time with the Jets, Smith was no longer a fan favorite, injured and no longer the incumbent starter. By choosing to sign with the Giants, he essentially decided to embrace being a backup for at least one more season, sitting behind Eli Manning.
For Smith, often criticized by Jets fans following a rookie season in which he surprised many by leading a bad team to an 8-8 record, it is an opportunity to learn and grow on a team. This one, unlike the Jets, has legitimate playoff aspirations.
“It’s always competition, and the competition never stops. It never ends. You always want to be the very best. You’re always trying to reach that final plateau,” Smith said. “It is a competition, that’s exactly what it is, and the best competitors, they always rise to the occasion. I don’t look at it in any other way than that. As a competition, one that I want to do well in, I appreciate it, and I look forward to it every single day in practice.”
As for his knee, injured last year, he said it is better.
Smith didn’t wear a brace on Tuesday and showed flashes of mobility, even as he admits that he isn’t 100 percent.
“At this point in camp, I’m not sure if anyone is 100 percent," he said.
It is a good situation for a quarterback who has spent the offseason looking to get bigger, stronger.
The knee, he says, isn’t an issue.
“When I’m out there, I don’t even think about it. I’m going through my checks, going through reads, and that’ll be something we have to see in the first preseason game. Every single day that I’m getting team reps, I’m feeling a lot better, more confident,” Smith said. “When I get back there, I’m not thinking about what could happen. Obviously, we’re not getting hit right now, but when the games come about, that’ll be something to see, exactly how I react to getting tackled for the first time since the injury. God willing, I’ll be okay.”