FLORHAM PARK The Porsche was in cruise control on Wednesday.
Just one day after tossing three interceptions –two of which occurring in the endzone—Geno Smith took to the practice field and proceeded to put together his finest outing of the offseason. The third-year pro tossed touchdown after touchdown in the Jets second minicamp practice, his final a 70-yard bomb to Walter Powell who had beaten Darrelle Revis.
“Yesterday was a little rough,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “Today was a little bit better. “
For the first time all offseason, Smith looked like he had a firm grasp of New York’s new offense. The quarterback was at his best working during the team’s red zone drill. At one point, Smith connected on five consecutive touchdown passes hitting the likes of Jeff Cumberland, Eric Decker, Kellen Davis and more.
Smith also took fewer chances, checking down to Chris Ivory or running himself when receivers failed to create separation.
“You’ve gotta be smart,” Bowles said. “You need to know when to throw it away, when to take a sack, when to throw it out of the end zone and when to take a chance. That comes with experience, understanding what your offense can do and understanding what the defense gives you.”
Other notes from Jets camp…
- Stevan Ridley looks to be getting closer and closer to 100 percent. The running back looked good in receiving drills during the individual portion of practice. After catching the ball, Ridley made it a point to plant his foot in the ground and make hard cuts to turn it up the field. There weren’t any noticeable ill effects from the knee injury that abruptly ended his 2015 season.
- A few Jets players left practice early with injuries. Cornerback Darrin Walls was the first to head back to the locker room after landing awkwardly following a pass defense. Receiver Brandon Marshall limped off the field and removed his shoe stubbing his toe. Zach Sudfeld also left practice when he was pushed hard after a play by safety Calvin Pryor.
- Speaking of Pryor, the safety was a bit too physical in practice, and Bowles said he plans to have a talk with Pryor and a few other players who were chippy.
- Brandon Marshall displayed again his freakish athleticism, jumping high in the air and reaching, literally, over Walls’ head to make a catch near the sideline. After Marshall got his hands on the ball, he fully extended to keep the ball away from Walls, then finished by getting his feet inbounds.
- Chris Owusu seems to have impressed the coaches this spring as he’s been receiving an awful lot of first-team reps with Eric Decker and Marshall. He’s flashed a bit, too, showing the ability to get deep. Owusu just missed a deep ball from Smith. He beat Revis and was left open, but the ball just glanced off his outstretched hands.
- Decker seems to be a player the Jets like in the slot and is one of a handful of wideouts that have rotated in and out from the position. Decker is known as one of the league’s better route runners and playing inside gives him the ability to showcase that.