QB Geno Smith
August 2, 2017
Q: How is your knee? Are you 100 percent for camp?
A: At this point in camp, Iím not sure if anyone is 100 percent, but I feel great. My knee feels good, and thatís a testament to my trainers, all the guys in the training room who have taken care of me. Theyíve helped me out a lot, and weíre still working on it. I think this will be a lot of time and commitment for me, just with my body. I feel great, and Iím happy.
Q: Youíre not even wearing a knee brace, right?
A: No, no brace.
Q: Is that a sign of confidence?
A: Yeah, very confident. Also, I think thatíll help me be mindful of protecting myself when I get outside the pocket, or even when Iím inside the pocket. Just always being mindful of taking care of my body and not putting it in harmís way.
Q: Do you think it will take time to play football on it (knee) or do you feel like your normal self when youíre out there?
A: When Iím out there, I donít even think about it. Iím going through my checks, going through reads, and thatíll be something we have to see in the first preseason game. Every single day that Iím getting team reps, Iím feeling a lot better, more confident. When I get back there, Iím not thinking about what could happen. Obviously, weíre not getting hit right now, but when the games come about, thatíll be something to see, exactly how I react to getting tackled for the first time since the injury. God willing, Iíll be okay.
Q: How do you feel like the first couple of practices have gone for you?
A: Theyíve been pretty good. First things is taking care of the ball, which is something I have emphasized for a long time. Also, just picking up the offense, understanding exactly what Coach (Ben McAdoo) wants to do and Coach (Mike) Sullivan (wants), and just doing things the right way. Overall, I think I can be a lot better. My timing and my rhythm are slowly coming, but it will get better as I continue to progress with the wide outs, the running backs and the lineman. So far, so good. Thereís a lot I think I can improve upon, as we all do, but overall, just pleased.
Q: Whatís it like playing for the first time where your roster spot isnít guaranteed? Is it different?
A: I wouldnít say itís different. Iíve always taken that approach. Iíve always worked the same way. Honestly, I donít even think about that right now. I let that be outside noise, and I just block it out. Iím happy with the reps that I get, Iím happy with the chance to compete. Thatís all you can ask for as a player: a chance to compete. Overall, Iím just happy to be a part of the team and getting better with the guys. Iím not singling myself out and thinking about myself first, instead of putting the team first. The second, whenever I get a chance to go out there and prove my worth, or what I can do, thatís what I try to do.
Q: How strange is it to you to share limited reps with Josh Johnson and splitting time with the second and third team? Have you ever been in that position before?
A: In this league, every rep counts. On game day, every single play counts. You never know when you can make that play thatíll either make or break the game, so when you take that approach to the practice field, I think it just makes for a better player. When you donít get as many reps, you want to make sure that those couple of reps that you do get are perfect, and you want to be spot on with those. When you are getting all the reps as the main guy, you want to do that every single time because that equates to the game. Itís really no difference. Itís not weird; it actually feels great to be out here playing football seven to eight months after ACL surgery. Iím happy with it, taking advantage of it, and Iím just ready to roll.
Q: Howíd the knee feel on that scramble you took down the field (in todayís practice)?
A: It felt great. It felt like I was moving pretty good. Weíll see in the game how well I run, but I probably wonít try to go that far down the field. Iíll probably just slide or something like that just to protect myself. But, I felt good overall, had no issues.
Q: What do you find to be the biggest challenge in this offense? You ran a version of it, right?
A: I ran a version of it in my first two years under (former New York Jets offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg). This is a high-volume offense. A lot is placed on the quarterback, which is great. Thatís what you want. Thatís the only subtle difference I notice. With this being my fifth year, I understand it more. I understand why things are the way that they are; why the checks are the way that they are. The more volume, I think, really helps the quarterback because you can always get into the right play and it allows you to go out there and just play freely.
Q: Have you seen a rise in intensity and laser-focus in the quarterback role now that it is training camp and not OTAs?
A: For sure. Every single guy in the room is doing everything that they can to come out here and put on a display and have a great practice and that starts with Eli (Manning), myself, Josh (Johnson), Davis (Webb) and all of the coaches. Every single player wants to come out here and put their things on tape because we all go back and watch it. You have to be honest with yourself; if you didnít have a good day, you didnít have a good day, and it shows. You want to make sure that you put the right things on tape at all times. It definitely heightens your senses. You have to be on point every single play. You have to be in the right check, and we get graded off of it, so if you donít do it right, the coaches are going to yell at you and let you know that you need to pick it up.
Q: Do you feel like you have to show the coaching staff what you can do?
A: I just have to be myself. I have the utmost confidence in myself and my ability. I donít think I have to change one bit. I just have to continue to work hard and be myself.
Q: Has anything surprised you from what youíve seen from QB Eli Manning?
A: Nothing is surprising. A little backdrop story: Eli and I, our first year meeting was when I was in college. I went to the Manning camp and met him there. Then, we trained together for a year with (quarterback coach) Tom House three years ago, so we had a good rapport. But being around him, you just see the amount of respect he has around the locker room and around here. You also see the amount of hard work he puts in on a daily basis. Thatís something that you can appreciate from a two-time Super Bowl winner.
Q: Do you view this as a competition or to just go out there and do the best you can? How do you approach that aspect?
A: Itís always competition, and the competition never stops. It never ends. You always want to be the very best. Youíre always trying to reach that final plateau. It is a competition, thatís exactly what it is, and the best competitors, they always rise to the occasion. I donít look at it in any other way than that. As a competition, one that I want to do well in, I appreciate it, and I look forward to it every single day in practice.
Q: Do you feel like youíre playing catch-up since you were limited in the spring and QB Josh Johnson was year the year before, or do you view yourselves on equal footing in the competition?
A: Thatís to be decided. I donít think Iím playing catch-up. Weíll see how things go, but to me, itís to go out there and do what you have to do. Make the right checks, make the right reads and then just let your athleticism take over. Like I said, I appreciate every single rep that I get, every single chance I get to compete with the guys. Itís been fun.