FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - It takes a village to raise a quarterback.
That essentially was Marty Mornhinweg's message yesterday, as he fielded questions about Geno Smith's consistent inconsistency. Though the rookie has eight interceptions in the past five games, Mornhinweg said: "I'm not so sure he's in a funk . . . For a quarterback to play well takes an awful lot of things, so we've got to help him more now, starting with me."
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Smith had a disastrous outing against the Bills last week, throwing three more interceptions and fumbling the ball twice (one lost). But while Mornhinweg stressed the rookie "needs to take care of the ball," he also expressed optimism that Smith can string together several good games.
"Geno [is a] diligent young man, smart guy, physically talented, so I suspect that that will happen at some point this year," the offensive coordinator said.
Mornhinweg also noted that "really good" quarterbacks "can stay above all the fray and do the right thing with the ball." And "that's what he's learning right now," he said of Smith. Pressed later about Smith's ability to properly read defenses, Mornhinweg replied: "There's only been a few where he just didn't see him . . . Look, he's seeing things. Last ballgame, there were several plays where we just didn't do it right as a football team . . . It takes a lot of people to have a quarterback play well."
Mornhinweg also clarified the team won't limit Stephen Hill's playing time, but rather pull back on the receiver's practice reps to keep him healthy for games. Though Hill practiced fully, he's still "nicked up." . . . Asked if he plans to play, Santonio Holmes (foot, hamstring) grinned and said: "Why wouldn't I?" The veteran receiver was limited after not practicing the day before . . . Slot receiver Jeremy Kerley (dislocated left elbow) also was limited, catching passes with one hand. Asked about his game-time status, coach Rex Ryan said: "We'll see . . . He probably wouldn't be the focus of the offense." . . . Linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee), receiver David Nelson (illness) and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. (rest) did not practice . . . Tight end Konrad Reuland, who was placed on injured reserve, will undergo surgery after his ACL "stretched" (but did not tear) against the Bills.