CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) - Geno Smith threw one interception, and then another. And then, two more.
It wasn’t a good performance by the New York Jets rookie quarterback. At all.
“It was brutal,” coach Rex Ryan said flatly on Wednesday. “That was Geno’s worst day.”
Smith, competing with Mark Sanchez for the starting job, was intercepted four times, including three in 11-on-11 team drills. He is still dealing with a sprained right ankle, that he has looked less hobbled by in practice the last few days. But Ryan said it is clearly affecting his performance, as well as his fundamentals and being late on some throws.
“Obviously, the ankle is part of it, but way too many picks,” Ryan said. “He did not look comfortable today. Obviously, he has to come back from it, and he will come back from it. But it was a bad day.”
“Guys have bad days, but this was a really bad day.”
It was also an unseasonably cold day in Cortland _ the temperature at the start of practice was a mere 52 degrees with occasional rain.
“It was a beautiful December day today,” Ryan quipped. “That, without question, had to be the coldest training camp day I’ve ever been a part of. That’s about 30 years.
“Man, that was chilly. Almost as chilly as the offensive performance today.”
And that included Smith’s performance. The second-round pick, however, insisted the ankle has not been a factor.
“I haven’t really been trying to use it as an excuse,” he said. “I’ve been going out there and giving it my all, and I think I’ve done a good job of just pushing through this week.”
Ryan agreed that Smith hasn’t been using the injury an excuse for his performances lately, but added that it’s “bravado” by the quarterback saying it’s not affecting him.
“Guys, you see it out there,” Ryan said. “He’s not able to move like he normally does. He’s not able to drive the ball like he normally does with his velocity. That doesn’t mean he still can’t get out there. He’s competing. He’s been out there every day.
“But is he 100 percent? I would say that he’s not 100 percent.”
The Jets have still not decided on a starter for the team’s preseason game Saturday night against Jacksonville, but Sanchez has outperformed Smith this week. When asked if he wants to start Saturday, Smith curiously said: “No comment.”