The Times West Virginian

Sports

August 23, 2013

Geno Smith to start for Jets vs. Giants

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — It’s Geno Smith’s turn to try to prove he should be the New York Jets’ quarterback this season.

In a move that was expected for several days, Rex Ryan announced Thursday that the second-round draft pick will start over Mark Sanchez in the Jets’ preseason game against the Giants on Saturday night.

“We’ll see how far we take him into this game this week,” Ryan said. “Mark will play also. I think (Smith) has looked good and seems like the ankle is obviously a lot better than it was this past week.

“I’m excited to see him play.”

The rookie has worked with the first-team offense all week during practice. Smith, in a tightly contested competition with Sanchez, did not play in the Jets’ last preseason game last Saturday night against Jacksonville because of a sprained ankle.

Most NFL teams normally play their starters into the third quarter of the third preseason game, but the Jets wanted to see how Smith’s ankle responded this week before deciding on a starter against the Giants. Because Sanchez played three quarters against the Jaguars, the Jets want a better look at Smith in game action.

“We want to see him play,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “Hopefully, he’ll get the chance to turn it loose and let his natural abilities show up, and his natural style. I think, and I almost know, that he’s worked so hard that he’s there mentally.”

Smith has played just two quarters in the preseason after getting hurt while rolling out on a play in the third quarter at Detroit nearly two weeks ago. He was cleared for practice early last week, but struggled on the sore ankle — capped by what Ryan called a “brutal” performance last Wednesday in which Smith was intercepted four times.

He bounced back this week with an outstanding week of practice as his ankle also healed.

“I’m proud of Geno last week pushing through it,” Mornhinweg said. “This week, it was still biting him just a little bit, but he was significantly better.”

Quarterbacks coach David Lee has seen vast improvement in Smith’s footwork along with his command in the huddle since training camp began.

“His leadership is starting to show,” Lee said. “It’s hard when a guy doesn’t know everything to be a great leader. But once he knows it, we should see more and more leadership from him.”

Ryan said the team is still not prepared to select a starter for the regular-season opener against Tampa Bay. While Jacksonville and Philadelphia made decisions on their starting quarterbacks earlier this week, Ryan refuses to put a deadline on the Jets selecting one.

“We did say all along that it was going to be an equal competition,” Ryan said. “And, I think, obviously, the fact that Geno wasn’t able to play last week, you never really saw him when there were ‘live bullets,’ so to speak. So, it wouldn’t be an equal competition had we not played it out this way.”

Lee added that a strong performance by Smith perhaps still might not be enough for the Jets to select a starter for the season. That means the quarterback competition could potentially go into the final preseason game against Philadelphia next Thursday.

“It’s been too close to call,” Lee said. “I want it clear. I want it cleaner before we make that decision.”

Lee also acknowledged that he has often gone back and forth on who he thinks the starter should ultimately be.

“They come off the field and you’re frowning at one and (saying), ‘Atta boy’ to the other,” Lee said. “I’m being honest, it’s kind of been an emotional up-and-down deal: ‘Who’s the best one today? Maybe that’s our guy. We can do this with him and the other one, we can do this with him. We can do more with this guy in the passing game.’

“So that’s an honest answer.”

Mornhinweg insisted he hadn’t put as much thought into the daily fluctuations of the quarterbacks, preferring to let everything play out.

“Mark has had a terrific camp,” Mornhinweg said. “He’s had a bunch of ups, and he’s had some dips there. Geno’s had an outstanding camp for a rookie and he’s just had a little bit more than a couple of plays in a preseason game. So, we’ll see what happens in this next ballgame. We’ll see what the outcome is.”

Ryan also refused to put any parameters on what Smith might need to show against the Giants to be convinced that he’s the guy who should start the season under center.

“I think obviously it’s an evaluation process still that we’re going through,” he said. “I don’t want to say, ‘Look, he’s got to look like Phil Simms in the Super Bowl.”’

That performance by Simms, of course, was one for the record books when he completed 22 of 25 passes to help the Giants beat the Denver Broncos in 1987.

Mornhinweg said the decision will be made when one of the quarterbacks elevates himself above the other, and if that doesn’t happen, the team would then go on instincts.

“I think I know exactly where Mark’s at,” Mornhinweg said. “There’s no question that I think we can do some very good things with Mark. I don’t quite know where Geno’s at yet, even though we might think we know. But those preseason games are such a good evaluation period for a young man.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dungy0725 (1).jpg Rice, Dungy sideshows stain NFL

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.
    So, as training camp opens around the country, how odd is it to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s 32-team NFL empire battling bad headlines and stinging criticism from all quarters?
    Anyone want to talk to the new quarterback for his early assessment of playing with the best and biggest players in the land? That would be business as usual. Nothing has been routine about the early days of camp this season.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.
    Sure, you may get some Andrew McCutchens or some Derek Jeters as replies. But if you want to find out the real answer, just look into the dugout.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Return to Mountain State exciting for new sports writer

    When I packed my belongings out of my Morgantown apartment in May, fresh with a journalism degree from West Virginia University, I thought I had ended a chapter of my life and closed the book on my experience inside the great Mountain State forever.
    It wasn’t until I received a phone call back in my hometown of Canton, Ohio, from the Times West Virginian that the idea of a return to the area became a possibility. The opportunity to begin my professional career in an area that I’ve become comfortable with for the past several years was too good to pass by.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Photos
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings