- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Coach Rex Ryan won't commit to quarterback Geno Smith beyond one week.
Quarterbacks coach David Lee, however, sees a future with the New York Jets for the rookie.
"I've had long enough to feel good about him and his future here with us," Lee said. "I think he has great arm talent. He can escape."
The Jets will soon have to decide whether they believe Smith is their answer at quarterback or whether they need to go in another direction. Smith has certainly shown during the Jets' unexpected 5-4 start why he can be a quarterback to build around, but he's also been a turnover machine through nine games.
Lee described Smith's play as "hot and cold" thus far. He appreciated how Smith has led the team back from fourth-quarter deficits, but Lee said Smith has hurt the team at other times, mentioning the losses to Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Smith has yet to win back-to-back games.
"I'm pleased with his progress," Lee said. "Just [would] love to see more consistency."
Lee noted improvement in Smith's decision-making when it comes to throwing the ball away or trying to make a play.
The coach praised Smith for throwing the ball away roughly five times in Sunday's 26-20 win over the Saints, including once late in the fourth quarter when the Jets were trying to ice the game.
Smith has eight passing touchdowns to 13 interceptions, and in breaking down Smith's turnovers, Lee said it's a mixture of things including location and decision-making. Lee added that Smith also has freelanced at the end of some games and that has come back to haunt him.
"At the end of the game there's times he'll leave the game plan and do too much, do things on his own, which we've had hard talks about that," Lee said. "He said, 'Coach, I did the same thing in college. I feel desperate, I feel pressured.'"
Overall, Lee likes the way his quarterback has evolved through nine weeks.
"Right now he's improving weekly and he improves on things he screws up, which is what's encouraging to me," Lee said. "Geno's smart. He prepares. He's in this building 6 a.m. every day. It's not a mistake he knows what he's doing, the ball comes out fast because he's preparing and knows where to go. He's worked hard."