Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Geno to Defense: I'm Sorry

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Geno to Defense: I'm Sorry

Article excerpt

FLORHAM PARK - Geno Smith was a stand-up guy Sunday, after a game in which he was knocked to the ground a lot.

Smith was sacked five times and hit on six other occasions by Tennessee's defense, and the Jets' rookie quarterback compounded those problems by throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles.

So after the Jets' 38-13 loss to the Titans, he apologized to his teammates and told them that type of game wouldn't happen again.

"I felt that I owed the defense an apology," Smith said Monday. "I just wanted to talk to those guys and let them know that I was aware of my mistakes and that I wanted to clean them up, and that I will clean them up."

His teammates appreciated it.

Smith said, "It's just taking ownership [of] your mistakes and manning up."

Actually, one might say Smith is "Manning" down, considering his 11 total turnovers through four games ties him with the Giants' Eli Manning for the most miscues in the league.

However, unlike the established Manning, Smith has no body of work to fall back on, which means there will be people saying he should lose his starting job.

Coach Rex Ryan is not one of those people, at least not yet.

When asked if he might consider benching Smith in favor of Matt Simms or veteran Brady Quinn, Ryan responded, "It's not a thought at this point right now. Not a thought."

However, Ryan said Smith has "got to put two hands on the ball. ... In particular, the one where he fumbled for the [Tennessee] touchdown, he's trying to avoid the rush, but at what cost? We've got to put two hands on the ball and if we've got to roll our shoulders over the ball and take the sack, then that's what we have to do, but, we can't afford to turn the ball over."

"It's just one of those habits you need to break in order for this team to be the team that we want to be," Smith said. "A part of that is, [it's] my job to take care of the ball and put two hands on it. …

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