New York Jets rookie Geno Smith doesn't resent critics
By Marc Sessler
Around the League Writer
Published: May 10, 2013 at 02:01 p.m. Updated: May 10, 2013 at 07:44 p.m.
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At some point along the way, Geno Smith will be judged for his play on the field. For the rookie, that time can't come soon enough, but he insists he isn't bitter.
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The New York Jets quarterback met with reporters after Friday's rookie minicamp practice and said the post-draft microscope he has lived under hasn't affected him.
"I don't resent any of it. I don't pay attention to any of it," Smith said. "I just focus on what I can control, and that's being a Jet quarterback, being a great teammate and just getting better as a quarterback."
Smith was asked where he believed the waves of criticism -- picking apart everything from his attitude to his desire for the game -- originated from.
"I'm guessing you guys would know better than I do. I can't really say. ... I kind of get these questions a lot, and it's kind of like, 'I don't know,' " Smith said.
Badgered again to sum up "what he's learned" since the draft, Smith calmly answered the question.
"I think it's been a more eventful few weeks for the media. I'm just being my natural old self. Nothing's changed," Smith said. "I'm not feeling any way toward any of it. I could care less about it. My only job is to focus on what I have here and to get better."
Here's what else we learned Friday:
» Keep in mind these numbers mean literally zero, but Rich Cimini of ESPN New York noted that Smith was 6 for 10 passing in team drills, with one sack, one drop and a batted pass. Smith also underthrew a deep ball and appeared tentative cycling through his progressions. He went 11 for 15 in seven-on-sevens, showing "good zip" and "decent ball placement," per Cimini.
» Smith said veteran quarterback David Garrard has emerged as an early helper. "He spoke to me about just how he looks forward to competing with me and teaching me and mentoring me," Geno said, "and I told him, 'I'm all ears, I'm an open sponge.' "
» After practice, Smith gave himself an "F" after spending Thursday night locked away with his offensive linemen, nose in the playbook. "I've been studying my butt off," Smith said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "I've been in the playbook learning formations and learning protections."
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As someone who criticized Smith's demeanor, with him thrown in to the merciless New York media environment and the soap opera atmosphere of the Jets organization I want to acknowledge that Smith appears to have handled the start of rookie camp pretty well. Good for him. He'll have to keep it up over the long term.
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