Geno Smith already is out of the ‘guarantee’ game.
A month after he declared the Jets were going to the “playoffs next year” on draft day, the rookie quarterback was more reserved in his assessment of his new team following Thursday’s OTA.
“We’re a long ways from that,” Smith said, when asked if the Jets are a playoff-caliber team. “We’re still working, but like I said, every team’s goal at the beginning of the season is to hoist that Lombardi Trophy. So we’re working towards getting there but I’m not going to say what we are right now. There’s games to be played, we’ve got a preseason schedule and then a 16-game schedule. We’ll eventually find that out.”
Smith also wouldn’t take the bait when asked about his QB battle with Mark Sanchez – and whether or not he’d be ‘disappointed’ if he's passed over for the starting job.
“That’s not for me to decide,” Smith said. “My job is to go out there and compete. Coach (Marty) Mornhinweg, Coach (David) Lee, Coach Rex (Ryan), they do all of that decision-making. I just go out there and work hard.”
Ryan, however, said Smith’s refusal to tout himself as the opening-day starter doesn’t mean the rookie doesn’t want the job.
“The good thing about this football team is, I see this team really helping each other and encouraging each other. And I think that’s a good thing. But at the end of the day, from a competitor’s standpoint, yeah, you want to be the guy. You want to be the guy that gets the nod,” said Ryan, who added that Smith has worked with the first-team offense during some of the closed OTAs.
“And I don’t think there’s any doubt – whether Geno said that or not, I’m pretty sure he wants to win the job.”
Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez was far more definitive about his future in Florham Park.