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Geno Smith on his performance vs. Giants: 'I don’t do grades'

Jets quarterback Geno Smith throws on the field

Jets quarterback Geno Smith throws on the field before the preseason game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Aug. 24, 2013) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Grades just aren't Geno Smith's thing.

And in his case, that’s a good thing.

The Jets quarterback looked every bit the rookie on Saturday night, throwing three picks against the Giants in a 24-21 overtime victory MetLife Bowl.

With the coaching staff desperate to see a quarterback “elevate” himself in this highly-contested game, Smith took a step back. He finished the game with a 45.7 QB rating after completing 16 of 30 passes for 199 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He also was sacked by linebacker Mark Herzlich.

Asked to grade his performance, the ever-confident Smith replied: “I don’t do grades, but overall I think this is just another learning experience for me. Lots of teaching tape. Felt good to be out there with my teammates competing once again and it was a great job. It was a good.”

Rex Ryan delivered his standard line about waiting for “the appropriate time” to name a Week 1 quarterback. But Mark Sanchez’s still-to-be-diagnosed shoulder injury may have an immediate impact on the outcome of their quarterback competition.

But while some may believe Smith played himself out of the QB race, the rookie still believes he has a chance to unseat Sanchez.

“Well, as long as Rex and the committee are evaluating us, I think I have a shot,” he said. “As I’ve stated, I don’t think one game, one practice, one day will tell you the type of quarterback I am. I think it takes a ton of evaluation to get this thing done. It’s not just about myself, it’s about this team progressing and all of us getting better and that’s something we’re doing.”

Smith, at least in front of the media, is always careful to focus on the positive. So it came as no surprise that he didn’t harp on his three interceptions. Asked if he thinks those errant throws hurt his chances to win the starting gig, he said: “I don’t know. One thing that I do know is that I’m going to get better from it and it’s going to be another learning experience. I was just happy with the way that the offensive line protected tonight, receivers were getting open all night. It looks like we competed well and came through with the victory.”

Asked if he would be OK with Smith as his starting quarterback, Nick Mangold said: “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” 

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