Gang Green is gearing up for the regular season without projected starter Mark Sanchez. With his status still uncertain due to a shoulder injury that he sustained in preseason, rookie quarterback Geno Smith is preparing to be the starter.
Both quarterbacks are not only battling for the starting spot, but battling injuries. Smith sprained his ankle early in preseason, and is still not quite 100 percent. The rookie spent most of this weekend's practices in the trainer's room, getting treatment on his ankle.
"I came in, got treatment, did little things to get myself better for the week," noted Smith. "Other than that, I had some time off, tried to relax a little bit, kind of tone down. I've been going really hard throughout camp so just had some time off."
If the rookie is named the starter in place of Sanchez for this week's game, he will need that time to rest up and to get healthy. The rookie isn't too concerned that his health will be an issue:
"Every single day it's felt better," admitted Smith. "I'm able to do a lot more now than I was able to do then. It's just constantly getting better and it's something that I'll continue to look at and continue to work at."
When the rookie isn't rehabbing his ankle, he has been watching film on the Buccaneers. He has studied film from both last year's games and the preseason games.
"(I) watched last year's tape, some of the final games they played in which (there) were a lot of close games, some NFC games," Smith said. "They were playing some spread teams with some similar looks to what we have. I also watched the preseason. That's pretty much the gist of it. (I) just watched every single thing I could get my hands on." Even though he has had some great insight from the film, he has not watched anything on ex-Jet, Darrelle Revis. He knows what Revis is capable of and if he is healthy, Revis is "one of the best if not the best corner in the game."
So with Sanchez's status unknown, the former West Virginia star has the confidence that he will be ready to play on Sunday.
"I've been preparing extremely hard and I think I've gotten a lot better," noted Smith. "I've got a lot to learn and I'm preparing for everything that comes my way. If my chance is Sunday, I'm going to go out there with the intent to lead my team to victory and that's just the way it is. I'm always going to play like that, be aggressive. I'm never going to hesitate, never going to shy away from anything and just go out there and play ball."
If anyone was concerned that Geno may have lost confidence after the brutal performance in preseason against the Giants, then they are wrong. With confidence running high and his ankle feeling close to 100 percent, Smith will be ready to take the field as the starter for New York in the regular season opener. If this is the case, he hopes to put the memory of his poor preseason performance behind him and lead his team to victory on Sunday.