- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
"I laugh at it," he said Wednesday after reporting to the New York Jets' training camp. "It's hilarious. ... I laughed last year, too."
Smith will get an opportunity to have the last laugh because, barring a collapse in the preseason, he will be the opening-day starter. Coach Todd Bowles is calling it a quarterback competition between Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick (even though he acknowledges Smith will get the majority of the first-team reps), but the sense around the team is that Smith is The Guy.
"He's our starting quarterback and we feel confident in him," Darrelle Revis said.
Smith worked hard in the offseason, and his teammates say he's wiser than before, ready to elevate his game. Then again, we heard that last year, too, and the season was another wild ride on the Geno Coaster.
On Wednesday, Smith said all the right things, expressing confidence in his ability to lead the team.
"I just think I've been improving overall," he said. "Going into my third year, I'm definitely a different player than when I came in. I'm definitely a different guy."
They'd better hope so because 1.4 turnovers per game (his rate over 30 games) won't get the Jets anywhere close to first place in the AFC East. Smith is surrounded by his best supporting cast -- "really nice" on paper, he said -- but there are no automatics in football.
"I'm not taking anything for granted," Smith said.