The New York Jets first game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a little over a week away and rookie quarterback Geno Smith is ready for his first career regular season tune-up.
But that’s no surprise; Smith stated that he has been ready since he first suited up for Gang Green.
“I felt comfortable when I first played,” Smith said. “I felt comfortable last week. I think that’s kind of just my demeanor. Whether or not I’ve played enough, who’s to say? It’s very hypothetical.
“I’ve definitely gained a lot of experience in my time in the games and whether or not I’m ready, we’ll find out on game day and I think I’ll be ready for it.”
Rex Ryan has yet to decide upon a starter, but right now the direction is pointing towards the former West Virginia standout.
Smith’s main competition was Mark Sanchez, but No. 6 took a forceful hit from defensive tackle Marvin Austin during the Jets game against the New York Giants and left with a deep shoulder bruise.
Sanchez has been unable to throw since receiving the hit on Aug. 24 and it seems unlikely he will be able to take snaps against the Buccaneers.
Smith goes into every like he’s the starter and is ready to lead the Green and White into battle during week one at MetLife Stadium.
“Business as usual.” “That’s something that I always do and whether or not I am or am not (starting), I will always approach it the same way, noted Smith. “So, I’m going to continue to study hard. I’ve already watched a ton of film on the Buccaneers so far, so I’m just going to work extremely hard and prepare my mind and body for this upcoming game.”
Smith is trying to block out the criticism he received in the weeks leading up to the draft. No. 7 has displayed maturity that has been seen by the coaching staff and continues to make strides toward taking over the huddle for the Green and White.
Rex Ryan’s decision to send Sanchez onto the field in the fourth quarter of the Giants game was extremely questionable. Ryan chose to sit Smith during the final preseason game because of the scary chance of losing another quarter due to injury.
The young quarterback already injured his ankle when he scrambled out of the pocket during first preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Smith says his ankle has made improvements and it should not be an issue once the regular season rolls around.
“It’s getting better day by day,” Smith said. “It’s slowly progressing and getting better. Hopefully by the time the games come around I’ll be 100 percent.”
The Jets need Smith to be ready because unless Sanchez makes some kind of miraculous recovery, they will have the rookie calling plays in the huddle. Get ready Jets fans, you have a new sheriff in town and his name is not Mark Sanchez.