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Smith 'feels a difference' in second season

8/26/2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith said Tuesday he has already been watching film of the Oakland Raiders in anticipation of their Week 1 matchup on Sept. 7.

Smith went so far as to say the film sessions have been “pretty extensive.”

“They’ve got new players,” Smith said. “Pretty much they’ve got the same defensive coordinator [Jason Tarver], so there will be some similar things from last year. And there will be some differences, but the key thing is finding out exactly what’s changed and what’s different and then being able to go out and execute.”

In New York’s 37-27 victory against Oakland last season, Smith went 16-for-25 for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran five times for 52 yards -- including a long of 32 -- and a score.

Smith, 23, said he’s interested to see how much he’s gotten better with the regular season about to get underway, noting he “feels a difference” in Year 2.

Quarterbacks coach David Lee is impressed with Smith’s development.

“He has command of the offense, which he didn’t [have] a year ago,” Lee said. “He [was] coming in learning it. I’ve never coached a rookie quarterback. I’ve coached rookie quarterbacks, but not to start the season and go 16 games. Well, this guy misses two-and-half, three games of preseason. So, we come in there with he and Matt [Simms] as one and two against Tampa Bay [in Week 1], we’re holding our breathe. We’ve got two rookies here fixing to do this whole thing for 16 weeks, and I thought it was a little bit overwhelming, which is why he was so up and down through probably the first two-thirds of the season and then he settled [down].

“[The] more he played, the more confidence he got. And now he just even walks in the building with more confidence, more command. He’s not cocky, he’s a humble kid, but boy, he’s a confident quarterback right now at this point in time.”

Asked about his confidence, Smith said, “Just gaining more confidence in my teammates and the players around me has allowed me to gain more confidence in myself. Also, understanding the offense has helped as well.”

Despite his belief that Smith has improved his ball security, footwork and accuracy, Lee sees areas where his signal-caller can improve.

“Just tighten up everything, a little bit better, scramble, keeping my eyes down field a little bit longer. If I’m going to run, pump it, pump it twice, take off and run,” Lee said. “ Just putting those little things together, and we’ll be ready to go when the games start, but we’re not quite ready right now at quarterback.”