Smith expects another QB competition

December, 16, 2013
12/16/13
6:00
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Get ready for a summer repeat.

New York Jets rookie Geno Smith said Monday that he expects to be in another quarterback competition next preseason, just as he was this season with incumbent starter Mark Sanchez.

"Yes I do," Smith said Monday. "I'm going to be in full competition with myself and every other guy who is in camp."

[+] EnlargeGeno Smith
AP Photo/Bob LeveroneRookie Geno Smith expects to battle for his starting QB job next season.
While Smith expects a competition, his line falls in line with the Jets' operating practice that competition reigns supreme. GM John Idzik has preached throughout his brief time that competition drives the organization, constantly referring to it while Sanchez and Smith battled.

It has yet to be seen what type of competition Smith will face this offseason, as the Jets will have to determine whether they believe Smith is their future quarterback. If he's not, they could pursue a free-agent quarterback or perhaps go back to the draft in what is expected to be a deep class of quarterbacks. Backups Matt Simms and David Garrard likely wouldn't overtake Smith.

Smith had some bright moments early on this season, leading the Jets to a 5-4 record at the bye behind a pair of last-minute comebacks, but he's struggled as the season has progressed. He's thrown for 2,642 yards with 10 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, which is the second-most interceptions in the NFL. Smith said Monday he has not met his own expectations thus far.

"I think I could have played a lot better, and I understand there are growing pains and things you have to learn from, and experiences you have to get better from," Smith said. "I set the bar high for myself. I always will. That's the way I'll improve, by setting that bar high and keep climbing."

In Sunday's 30-20 loss to Carolina, Smith had a chance to notch the best win of his career, but a costly interception doomed him and put the Jets on the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention. With the Jets trailing 23-13 in the fourth quarter, Captain Munnerlyn intercepted Smith and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown with 8:17 remaining.

Smith completed 15-of-28 passes for 167 yards, threw one touchdown and one interception, and also added 44 rushing yards. It marked one of his better games, considering Carolina's stingy defense. But in what has become an unfortunate reoccurring issue for him, a pick-six undid any good there might have been.

"Obviously the pick-six hurt us. Very detrimental," Smith said. "For the most part we did some good things, but overall we had some negatives that ended up biting us in the butt."

After the loss, Smith said he felt he let head coach Rex Ryan down. The rookie said Monday he did not express that feeling to Ryan, and explained that he feels that he lets the entire team down after every loss. With the Jets possibly fighting for Ryan's future, as the Jets could part ways with him after three straight years without a winning record, Smith reiterated he supports his coach.

"I love Rex," Smith said. "Despite of what decision is made, my feelings toward him will never change."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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