If anything was proved in the Jets' Green and White practice Saturday night at MetLife Stadium, it was this: The fans will not be patient with Geno Smith.
Smith found that out on his second series in 11-on-11 drills when he was sacked, fumbled the ball and heard a smattering of boos from the more than 10,000 fans who turned out.
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The boos got a little louder and more sustained on Smith's next series. He nearly was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie, who had tight coverage on Brandon Marshall, and then missed Marshall badly on the next throw.
But rather than be bothered by the negative reaction, he said the fans' boos actually drive him these days. He's confident that he'll be able to turn those boos into cheers.
"We did it tonight, and hopefully they're a little bit more patient during the season,'' Smith said after the offense's 35-0 win over the defense. "It's a four-quarter game, and the only thing that matters is we win the game. You've just got to understand that fans are going to be fans, and you don't want to put too much emphasis on that. I don't worry about it. I think it's more important for my teammates to see how I react to it more than anything.''
And how did he react to it Saturday night? "Man, I had a smile on my face,'' he said. "The camera should have zoomed in on me -- I had a big smile on my face. You'd think we were on the road today.''
In the Jets' ninth practice since training camp began, Smith -- who still has yet to throw an interception in camp -- did have a good night. He threw two touchdown passes to Marshall, one a 35-yarder down the left sideline against Cromartie (Cromartie gestured that he thought Marshall pushed off on the play) and the other a 1-yarder against Darrelle Revis on the final play of the night.
"He did some good things at the end,'' coach Todd Bowles said when asked about Smith. "Guys weren't open earlier. He's got to get rid of the ball, got to learn to tuck the ball [and run]. But overall, a practice day, he showed progress throughout the day -- as did Bryce [Petty], as did Ryan [Fitzpatrick].''
Petty, the fourth-round pick out of Baylor in the 2015 draft, led the first scoring drive after Smith and Fitzpatrick went three-and-out on the first series for each. With Petty at the controls, working with a mixture of second- and third-teamers, the offense drove 55 yards and Nick Folk kicked a 43-yard field goal.
Smith then came in and fumbled when he was sacked by Calvin Pace, with Calvin Pryor recovering the ball. It was the second time in three days that Smith had been strip-sacked.
"You know, if it was a game, I would have run,'' Smith said of the play. "But it's practice, and guys can't touch me, they can't tackle me, so you're playing in-between. You don't really know what to do. But I would say I should have just taken off and run and got four or five yards and move on to the next play.''
Fitzpatrick threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Walter Powell on a screen pass on the next series. After his two incompletions to Marshall, Smith handed to Bilal Powell, who had a beautiful 29-yard touchdown run. After another field goal by Folk, Smith hit Marshall for the first of their two touchdown connections.