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Geno Smith confident he'll be a starter again

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith practices during

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith practices during training camp at the team's practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Geno Smith no longer is an NFL starting quarterback, but he doesn't believe his window with the Jets is closing.

"I'm 24 years old,'' he said Thursday. "So whoever wants to say that, they can say that. But I know that I have a lot of football left in me and I will get a chance . . . if it happens here or wherever.''

Smith was speaking for the first time since Todd Bowles announced Tuesday that he's sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his starter. Smith said he wasn't pleased with the decision, but he also wasn't surprised.

"I'm not happy,'' he said. "But it's not one of those things where it's going to change my approach or going to change the way that I approach teammates. It's the decision. I understand it. I'm not bitter about it. I understand why.''

When then-teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali's punch broke Smith's jaw on Aug. 11, it cost him the chance to lead the Jets' new-look offense. But the 2-0 team has done quite well without him. That's why he's "not at all'' surprised by Bowles' decision, which he heard through the media, not directly from the coach.

"You kind of understand how things work. And we're on a roll right now, so I'm not opposed to it,'' Smith said. "It's out of my control.''

He participated fully in practice for the second straight day and has been cleared medically to play well ahead of the original timetable of six to 10 weeks. There's a chance he could be the No. 2 quarterback in Sunday's game against the Eagles.

That, of course, is little solace for Smith the competitor, who said: "You want to be out there.''

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