2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jets' Smith: 'Rex knows how to push my buttons'

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. - AP Sports Writer
    2014-01-31 18:20

NEW YORK (AP) - Geno Smith still thinks of himself as the New York Jets' starting quarterback.

Until he's told otherwise.

Smith's up-and-down rookie season ended with four solid games as the Jets finished 8-8, but out of the playoffs. Both coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik have said that while Smith improved greatly, they will wait until they see who's on the roster in a few months before considering their starters at any position.

''It motivates me,'' Smith told The Associated Press on Friday. ''I know Rex, and he knows how to push my buttons. I'm definitely going to go into this season as I always do: with a chip on my shoulder with that edge.''

Smith was in midtown Manhattan serving fans from an ice cream truck as part of a promotional event for New Era caps - a few hours after Ryan did the same.

Smith, who had 12 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions, is expected to be in the quarterback mix whether the Jets sign a veteran or draft someone to compete with him. But, it appears he didn't do enough for the Jets to anoint him the starter as they head into the offseason.

''I've gotten better, but I've got a long ways to go,'' Smith acknowledged. ''I've got to continue to progress and I'm going to take this year just as I took last year, and that's to try to get better every single day.''

Smith declined to comment on his recent off-field issues, which included a disagreement with a flight attendant at Los Angeles International airport, for which Virgin America airline later apologized.

''Nah, we're not talking about that stuff,'' he said.

Taking a quick break from handing out ice cream cones on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square, Smith talked about how much he enjoyed seeing the area jam-packed with football fans getting ready for the NFL's biggest game Sunday at MetLife Stadium. It also reminded him of his ultimate goal on the field.

''Just being here and being around this atmosphere has definitely made me even more hungry,'' he said. ''Just to get into this position has been something I've been longing for my entire life, so I just want to work toward it.''

Smith started all 16 games for the Jets after claiming the job once Mark Sanchez went down for the season with a shoulder injury in the preseason.

There were flashes from Smith at times, particularly with four winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime of the Jets' first seven games.

But there were also troubling stretches, such as the seven-game stretch midway through the season in which he had one touchdown pass and 11 interceptions.

While Smith insisted ''I don't do grades,'' he said he learned a lot on the job - a crash course in life in the NFL that not many rookie quarterbacks get to experience.

''It was very valuable, man,'' Smith said. ''Not only from the standpoint of being on the field, but off the field. All the emotions I had to go through and all the good and bad things I had to go through, and ultimately, it strengthened me.

''It made me a better player and made me a better person off the field.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

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Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

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Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

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Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

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Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

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Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

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Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

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