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Monday, August 26, 2013
Geno Smith: I'm still confident

By Ian Begley

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets quarterback Geno Smith called his performance on Saturday against the Giants "uneven."

Most Jets fans would probably label that an understatement. The rookie threw three interceptions, and he stepped out of the end zone for a safety.

Two days after the debacle, Smith said he doesn't feel like he blew his chance to win the Jets starting QB job. "You can't evaluate a player based on one game. Every single player has had a bad practice or game and that's part of playing this sport," Smith said.

Coach Rex Ryan was non-committal when asked if Smith would play Thursday in the Jets' preseason finale against the Eagles. Sanchez is expected to be the opening-day starter -- if he's healthy. He suffered a shoulder injury Saturday and his availability for the Jets' opener on Sept. 8 is up in the air.

Smith believes the competition is still open. "I actually do," he said. "As long as I'm given the opportunity to compete, I'm going to compete. And that's what it is now. We're still in an open competition and every single thing is going to be evaluated as it's always been. So, I'm going to do the things that I've done up until this point and that's work hard and just try to be a good teammate."

Smith completed 16 of 30 passes for 199 yards Saturday, but threw three interceptions in a span of 12 attempts. He also made a big mental mistake, taking a safety by stepping out of the back of the end zone as he tried to escape mild pressure.

"With Geno, there was the good, the bad and the ugly," Ryan said. "I think the ugly was the safety, the bad were the interceptions ... so it certainly wasn't perfect. But there was a lot of good too. I think his decision-making during the game, there were a lot of positives there."

Said Smith: "I didn't perform my best, I was spotty. I had some good plays, I had some negative plays. Like I said, they're all something that I'll eventually learn from. I feel good, still confident."

SPADOLA WOWS REX: Ryan has been particularly impressed with the play of Ryan Spadola.

Spadola, an undrafted free agent from Lehigh, caught three balls for 110 yards and a touchdown Saturday against the Giants. "All he does is make plays," Ryan said. "We've been really happy with this kid."

Ryan made a point to show reporters Spadola's highlights from Saturday's game before taking questions at his news conference Monday.

In addition to running a sharp route to get open across the middle of the field for a touchdown, Spadola also found an opening on a play on which Matt Simms evaded a rusher. Spadola got open and Simms hit him for a 70-yard gain.

"The young man is doing a tremendous job," Ryan said.