FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Geno Smith wouldn't say if he jumped for joy when he heard that the Jets had acquired wide receiver Percy Harvin from Seattle on Friday. But the second-year quarterback did acknowledge Monday that he believes the Jets are a better team now after sending a conditional draft pick to the Pacific Northwest to bring in the explosive (in more ways than one) Harvin.
"He's got speed; he's a versatile player, he can play out of the backfield," Smith said. "You can get that guy out in space and he'll make some guys miss . . . And to get a guy like him and put him on our offense I think is going to make us all better."
Smith said Harvin will make him a better quarterback, but he added that it will take time to develop chemistry. During the portion at practice that members of the media were allowed to watch Monday, when the players broke down into groups, Harvin went with the quarterbacks so he could run some routes and catch a few balls from Smith.
"We're working on it," Smith said of the timing between himself and Harvin. "For the most part, I think things are good. We're both professional athletes, so we're expected to go out there and get the timing down. We'll continue to practice and get better with it throughout the week, and come Sunday, I think the timing will be fine."
Smith said where Harvin will help him most is in yards after catch. Harvin had 22 catches for 133 yards and 11 rushes for 92 yards and a touchdown in five games for the Seahawks, and Smith said the 5-11, 184-pounder has "home run ability," something the 1-6 Jets clearly have been lacking.
Predictably, Smith downplayed reports that Harvin got into fistfights with teammates in Seattle.
"Stuff like that happens in every locker room," Smith said. "You've got to just be able to, I would say, 'manage it.' You've got to be able to manage it, and in this locker room, we don't have those problems. We don't have any issues. I'm not sure what went on down there, but we welcome him in with open arms and we look forward to having him here for a long time."
How quickly the Jets can get Harvin to learn their offense is an issue, of course. After one day of practice, coach Rex Ryan said he has no idea how much Harvin will be able to play Sunday when the Jets host Buffalo. Smith, though, said he thinks Harvin will pick things up quickly. He'll put in some extra work with the new receiver to help him.
"We're going to help him get caught up to speed and go out there and play freely," Smith said. "We want him to play fast."