CORTLAND – When reminded that his rookie quarterback has yet to throw an interception in four training camp practices, Rex Ryan just smiled.
“It probably tells you about our coverage,” joked the Jets coach.
The truth is, it speaks volumes of Geno Smith.
While it’s far too early to declare a winner in the QB competition, Smith is getting noticed – not only for his good arm and pretty spirals – but also for his ability to protect the football.
“Geno’s been doing a heckuva job making sure that he’s not throwing any interceptions,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie said on Monday. “He’s making the right choices. If something’s not there, he tries to get outside the pocket, either scramble or try to throw the ball away. So, when you play against a quarterback that’s like that in practice, it’s hard to get interceptions.”
Interestingly enough, Mark Sanchez was picked off Monday by Josh Mauga during a late-practice team drill. The fifth-year QB also was intercepted on Saturday by second-year safety Antonio Allen during 7-on-7s.
The small crowd gathered at SUNY-Cortland on Monday let their frustration with Sanchez known, booing him for his miscalculation.
Smith, on the other hand, still has plenty to learn – like getting rid of the football faster, Ryan noted. But his teammates have all taken note of his football smarts.
“I’m surprised by how well he’s picking up the offense,” said Cromartie. “Him coming from a shotgun-formation offense [at West Virginia] and him [now] being under center and being able to get from under the center and be able to do the things that he does, it shows that he’s a different kid.
“He’s a kid that can come out and compete. And that’s what he’s trying to do.”