The good news for Geno Smith is that he’s too new to be hearing boos.
According to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, Smith threw a pair of interceptions in 7-on-7 red zone drills, which stayed on his mind.
“Down in the red zone, I think I should probably do a better job of, well not probably, but I need to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Smith said. “That drill is made for us to kind of pretend that we’re in the game and we’re down in the red zone and we’re passing the ball and you’ve always got to be mindful of not turning it over, and that’s something that I did today that can be fixed; I’ll improve on that.”
Smith acknowledged he should have checked down on both picks. And while Jets coach Rex Ryan insisted the mistakes could easily be turned into a teaching moment, he wanted to make sure the rookie knew how costly they could be.
“It’s almost like a turnover in the red zone is worth two. And part of that is based on the momentum that the defense gets from it,” Ryan said. “When you get a turnover on defense in the red zone, it is unbelievable what that does to the mentality of your unit and your football team. Likewise on offense, you’re right there, knocking at the door, and you don’t come away with any points based on a turnover. And I’ve seen too many of ’em, but it does kill you.”
Of course, Smith hasn’t thrown any picks in team drills (which we know because all the Jets beat writers are awesome and track passing stats in training camp), and has been more efficient than Mark Sanchez over the course of camp.
But if Smith makes mistakes like the red zone picks, he’ll give away any advantage he might have by simply being the new guy.