|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
Rookie Geno Smith said in an interview from Miami that his relationship with Mark Sanchez is fine even though he didn't attend his teammate's passing camp in California. He also said he's preparing himself to be the New York Jets' starting quarterback this season.
"Me and Mark are cool; there's no hard feelings or anything," Smith said in the interview with the Ochocinco News Network, which was posted Monday. "He's up there getting work with the guys. I'm down here getting work."
Smith said he's approaching the competition against Sanchez "very seriously, preparing myself to be a starter, as I've said all along."
Sanchez, who has repeatedly said he expects to be the Jets' starter, said last week that he didn't hold a grudge against Smith for not attending "Jets West." Sanchez was the only Jets quarterback in attendance as 12 skill players, including receivers Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill, running back Chris Ivory and tight ends Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow, went through drills at Mission Viejo High School, Sanchez's alma mater.
"I don't hold it against any of the guys who can't make it," Sanchez said Friday after a two-hour practice. "There are no hard feelings about anything like [that].
In Miami, Smith trained with receivers including Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Greg Little of the Cleveland Browns and former West Virginia teammates Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, both now with the St. Louis Rams.
He declared himself ready for training camp in a tweet to his Twitter followers Monday.
PS: oh yea I'm ready for camp— Eugene Geno Smith (@GenoSmith7) July 15, 2013
Jets rookies are set to report to training camp on Monday. Smith, however, still hasn't signed his contract after being drafted in the second round.
Smith said the media was just doing its job by hyping up his absence from "Jets West."
"They got to create a hot story. They got to keep the fans interested, so they're going to put whatever they want out there," he said.
Smith said life as an NFL player has been a "smooth transition."
"It's the same for me, nothing's changed," he said. "Still working hard, still trying to perfect my craft, still trying to be the best quarterback, trying to be the best player ever."
Smith also talked about his partnership with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, with which he became the agency's first NFL client earlier this offseason. He said it's a "family environment" and has opened "many different opportunities" for him.
"I was always told if they're not talking about you, then you're not doing anything," Smith said. "Everything is all positive for me, so I'm looking forward to the future."
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi was used in this report.