Rookie QB Geno Smith is learning on the fly as coaches and fellow teammates gear up for training camp this summer. Quarterback David Garrard was forced to leave the team after lingering knee problems but Smith has plenty of other tutors to show him the ropes in the NFL. The college to NFL jump is just one of the many obstacles Smith is trying to overcome.
The former West Virginia standout is the new kid on the block in Florham Park. Smith is trying to pick up on little things, and soak up as much information as he can collect in order for him to become the best quarterback on the Jets.
Smith's supporting cast his one man short after Garrard sent a text to Sirius XM Radio's Adam Schein explaining that his knees wouldn't be able to hold up throughout the course of an entire NFL season.
"It was a tough decision. But it was one that I felt like needed to be done," said Garrard.
Regardless, it means less quarterback competition for Smith, but less tutoring advice. He will rely heavily on the advice from incumbent starter Mark Sanchez, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, and quarterbacks coach David Lee. He's actually done a little bit of that early on in rookie mini-camp.
"This is only step one, day one, but it was fun to get out here on the practice field, enjoy my teammates and coaches, learn from Coach (David) Lee, learn from Coach (Marty) Mornhinweg and then just be a Jet," said Smith.
With the start of rookie minicamp already underway, Smith has been able to work on some of the West Coast terminology and study the nuances of playing quarterback at the highest level.
"As we all know the West Coast system is one of the toughest ones to learn, but I don't think it was too foreign to me," noted Smith. "First of all, I studied my butt off just to be prepared for today and there's more work that goes into being ready for tomorrow. Overall, it's going to be a transition and that's expected, but I'm going to work at it and try my best to put my best foot forward."
Learning a new system in the NFL is no easy feat for a rookie, throw in the fact that he will be forced to take more snaps under center, something he didn't do much of in college, and you have a heavy learning curve.
"Probably yes, probably more than recently, but it felt like a natural change," said Smith of his adjustment from college to the pro game. "Obviously, there are some things that I need clean up and I'm going to work hard with Coach Lee and Coach Mornhinweg."