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Monday, September 16, 2013
Geno Smith's job status? Still up in air

By Kieran Darcy

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Mark Sanchez is out of the picture until November, but Geno Smith is still auditioning for the New York Jets' starting quarterback job.

Sanchez was placed on short-term injured reserve Saturday, meaning he's not eligible to return for eight weeks. But Smith said Monday he has been given no indication he will continue to be the starting QB beyond the Jets' upcoming game against the Buffalo Bills.

"No, [but] like I’ve always said, I take things day by day," Smith said after practice. "I’m not looking ahead. I’m only focused on taking it one day at a time."

Smith
Would he like more of a commitment from the team?

"Well, I mean of course you would," Smith said. "But in this situation, you gotta play the cards that you’re dealt. In my own personal time here, I think I’ve been treated fairly well, and I think I’ve been given a great chance, a great opportunity. And I got an opportunity this week once again to prove myself."

Coach Rex Ryan defended the decision to leave the quarterback job open beyond Week 3.

"I think you get in trouble when you put dates and all that kind of stuff on things, instead of just focus on the one week," Ryan said. "That’s for our [whole] team -- we want everybody to make sure that they understand, this is where our focus is, it’s not going past one week.

"I think if you look down the road, you don’t take care of your business. And so with us, everything we do is focused on Buffalo, and that’s where it should be."

Smith, whom the team drafted in the second round this spring out of West Virginia, piloted the Jets to a Week 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his NFL debut. He wasn't as good in a Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots last Thursday, completing only 15 of 35 passes for 214 yards, with three interceptions -- all thrown in the fourth quarter.

The rookie said it took him "about a day" to get over the loss to the Pats, but now he's looking forward.

"I've moved on from it, still confident, and prepared for this upcoming week," he said.

He also admitted that his right ankle, which he rolled in the Jets' first preseason game back in August, hasn't fully healed yet.

"It’s getting there, day by day," Smith said. "Not quite 100 [percent] yet, but it'll be there soon."

The Jets don't have very attractive options at quarterback beyond Smith. Matt Simms, currently listed as the backup, has never played in an NFL regular-season game, and the third-stringer is journeyman Brady Quinn.

But ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Simms has some supporters within the Jets organization.

Within Jets organization, QB Matt Simms has some real support to play. Should Geno Smith struggle, worth watching.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 15, 2013

Smith responded to that in an interview on ESPN NY 98.7 FM later Monday .

"Adam’s doing his job, and I’m pretty sure whatever he put out there, he probably got some information," Smith said. "But I can tell you one thing. Within this organization, from my coaches right down to [GM] John [Idzik], Rex, all those guys -- I don’t think they would have brought me in here if they didn’t see the potential in me."

"Matt, I think is a really good quarterback," Smith added. "But I think I’m the guy for the job."

As for Sanchez, he told NFL Network last week that he beat out Smith in their training camp competition, prior to injuring his shoulder. Smith was asked about those comments as well.

"That’s his opinion," Smith said. "I think neither Mark nor I make that decision; the coaches do. It would have been interesting to see.

"He did get hurt, and that did play a role in it. But I think I was right there in it, and it would have been interesting to see who they would have decided on."