After an impressive outing during the Week One contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, rookie Geno Smith and the rest of the New York Jets now face the daunting task of overthrowing last year's division champion New England Patriots. With the team facing a shortened week of preparation before the Thursday night's game, Smith remains focused and confident that the Jets will be ready to compete with their division rival.
"We're going to do our best to prepare ourselves and we will be ready come Thursday night," offered Smith. "That's all we can do, is control what we can control."
On his own preparation for the game, Smith added that his routine has remained unchanged.
"I'm coming in every single day and trying to get better," admitted the rookie. "Trying to be the best teammate, best leader I can be. I'm still going to prepare the same way as I've always done from day one. Nothing's changed for me."
Smith is entering the game fresh off an impressive rookie debut that saw him lead the team to a surprise win against a tough Buccaneers team. The game came down to a last second 48-yard field goal by Nick Folk that iced the game for Gang Green. With the contest coming down to the wire, Smith knows that the task of winning will only get tougher when the team travels up to Foxboro. The Patriots struggled to find offense in their game against the Buffalo Bills. They will be without Rob Gronkowski for another week and recently lost Shane Vereen to a broken wrist. With newcomer Danny Amendola a game-time decision, the Patriots are looking thin in offensive support for their future hall of fame quarterback. Yet, Smith knows that if anyone can find ways to win, it is Brady.
"He's a good quarterback," said Smith. "Obviously, one of the best there is in this league. I think everyone has to have an amount of respect and leadership within a locker room, especially to be a good quarterback. I think he definitely has earned that around the league."
With Mark Sanchez still sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Jets will have to press onward with their rookie quarterback. Smith had a few minor hiccups in his first game but overall produced a strong outing that impressed Rex Ryan and the rest of the Jets brass. He finished the day with over 250 yards and one touchdown.
""I was fairly happy with my performance," Smith said. "Obviously, those two turnovers were on me. I've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball and not putting us in tough situations. That's something I'll learn from and get better from."