Quarterback Geno Smith knows he’s far from perfect.
But darn it, he’s working his tail off to get as close as possible to that milestone.
Smith, who spent four rocky seasons with the New York Jets, who “visit” the Giants Saturday night, could be receiving some snaps against his old teammates of the quarterback rotation permits it.
It’s a chance that Smith is very much looking forward to.
“It’s going to be an exciting game–another opportunity to go out there and play with these guys on my new team and to really build ourselves up,” he said Thursday. “Obviously, going against your old team, you may have a few emotions here and there, but I think I’ll be able to manage it well.”
Smith said he has no ill feelings toward the Jets, and in fact cited his time spent with his teammates as among his favorite memories.
“Honestly, just being in the locker room with the guys, just being with the guys,” he said. “We built some great bonds and became more than just teammates, we became friends. And I think that was something that’s really special.”
Even more special for Smith is the lessons he took from his rocky tenure with Gang Green, such as leadership and understanding perspective.
“I was able to get out there and play early on and I think that really helped me out a bunch because I gained a bunch of experience,” he said. “I’m not wide-eyed or anything. When I go out there on the field, I understand what it’s about and I just try to go out there and make the best of it. So, just being there, being a starter, being a backup, you kind of get it from both sides and I can teach younger guys from my experience, my past experience.”
Smith also learned a lot about being humble.
“I mean, humility is a big thing in everyone’s life. It’s important to be humble, it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt and just continue to stay focused,” he said. “So, that’s something that I wouldn’t say I’ve learned, but it’s something that really, when you look at my career [with the Jets], it pops up.
“Just when I thought I was doing great, had to take a couple steps back. So, those are things that you’ve just got to focus on. You’ve got to be able to continue to stay focused and not get too big or too low on things.”
All that is well and good, but unless Smith performs on the field, those lessons won’t necessarily help him out in his battle for the backup quarterback spot against Josh Johnson.
Smith currently leads the Giant in percent completion percentage (63.6%); passing yardage (193) and yards per attempt (5.85).
“I think he is picking up the offense,” said head coach Ben McAdoo. “He is working hard at it. He gets football. He throws a nice, catchable ball and he completes a lot of balls, so we just have to eliminate the negative plays.”
Those negative plays include two damning interceptions, including one last week against Cleveland in the red zone that has done nothing to quell the concerns about Smith being a disaster waiting to happen when he’s out there on the field under center.
Smith is confident he can fix that in his game by homing in on the small details.
“I’m still learning the offense and still progressing, but there’s some things I could’ve done better as far as, you know, being more detailed,” he admitted. “So, those are things that I’ve got to clean up, and I’ll focus on that this week and continue it on in practice.”
Smith is also wise enough to understand that the opportunities he has to put together some good tape for other teams to review should things with the Giants not work out are dwindling.
“You’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities because they can be few and far between,” he said. “I just want to continue to have that mindset every single day I wake up and every single time I take the field.”