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GENO: I Try to Work as If I'm the Underdog

Posted May 22, 2014

Transcript of Jets QB’s News Conference at His Locker Thursday Afternoon

On how the offseason has been…

The offseason has been good. Guys have been coming in and getting really good work in. The attendance has been almost perfect. I just like the way we have been working right now.

On what he hopes to get done with the OTAs…

Oh, we’re getting a lot of work done, whether it’s in the classroom or on the field or in the weightroom. We’re getting better and that’s the goal, constant improvement, constant competition. That’s something we’re really doing right now.

On what it’s like working with Michael Vick

It’s awesome. Mike is a wily vet. He knows a lot about this game. He’s played in a number of games and all I can do is try and learn from him. It’s just great to be out there and to compete with guys like Mike and Matt [Simms] and Tajh [Boyd] as well.

On how much he feels the offense has improved this offseason…

Well, you know we have new players, but we’re still growing, we’re still improving. Every single guy has to improve. Everyone has to continue to jell and just get this offense rolling. That’s something that we’ve started doing. We’re trying to carry that momentum that we had last season over to this year, and it’s already starting in the weightroom and in the classroom. We just have to continue to work hard and continue to get better and take it day by day and I think it will be fine.

On the biggest thing he takes from having a resource like Vick around…

Just picking his brain. Like I said, he’s a vet. He’s played in a number of games and has also been in this system and has thrived in it, so I want to learn everything from him. Anything that I can possibly steal from him to help myself get better is what I’ll do.

On how different going into this season is for him mentally…

Mentally, I won’t change. I will compete as if I am the last guy on the depth chart trying to make this team. I think that’s what makes me better and that’s the way that I work. I’ve always done that. The biggest difference is just my familiarity with the offense, knowing my protections and not trying to come in and learn everything on the go. Having 16 games under my belt is really going to pay off for me.

On comments by Marty Mornhinweg about not having the quarterback competition impede his development and if he thinks he is the projected frontrunner…

He and I have a really good relationship and he’s totally correct. And that doesn’t just go for me — everyone has to develop and everyone has to get better. That’s the way that we carry this competition, and going into this season every single man has to find a way to improve himself as well as improve his team. Marty’s comments, I just take them in stride, but I continue to work the same way and just focus on what I have to focus on.

On how his experience with Mornhinweg and David Lee will help him develop this season…

Oh, I mean every single day counts. Every rep in that weightroom counts and every rep we get on the field counts. Every single thing that we go over in the classroom, if it's protections or formations, we went back to the basics and we started over fresh. Obviously, I have a year under my belt so I know a lot more coming in and there’s a lot more recall, but we started fresh and we’re still learning, we’re still growing.

On Vick referring to him as the starter and if he agrees with him…

My goal is obviously to start, but I understand that there is a competition at hand and the coaches are ultimately going to make those decisions. I’m just going to work hard and try to improve myself and try to help my teammates get better, try to help Mike get better, as well as learn from him, so when the time comes, we’ll know.

On the added talent this year...

It’s about getting better every day, and that is really what it is about. That’s out mantra on offense, that’s what we do in this locker room, that’s what we believe in. It starts with our head coach and from our GM and the staff on down. We’re trying to compete every single day, whether it’s running sprints or running laps or in the weightroom or in the classroom asking questions. We have to raise our play, obviously, at the quarterback position and that just comes with reps and getting better and taking everything that we do in stride. This team is still growing and we have lots of work to do. It’s only the beginning and we just have to keep working.

On if he goes into the quarterback competition thinking he has the lead…

I don’t think that way. I don’t put my mind in that position. I try and work as if I’m the underdog. Whether I’m named the starter or not, that’s the way that I work. Like I said, that’s something that helps me get better, having that constant edge and having that chip on my shoulder and just working extremely hard every single day to get better.

On a couple of areas that he is further ahead in than when he got here last year…

For one, you can start with footwork. It’s an essential thing for a quarterback, especially in this offense and just understanding the timing of the routes and when I need to have the ball out, which coverages I want to attack versus which plays. Understanding the protections and being able to see different defensive schemes for 16 games and going up against some of the best defensive coordinators and seeing the way they attacked us has given me a ton of recall when I go back and watch film. I think that’s what ultimately is going to allow me to get better is to continue to watch that film and being very detail-oriented and just continuing to get better every single day, working hard, trusting my teammates and coaches.

On his impression of Vick when he came into the league…

Oh, he was amazing. We all have those wow moments, and just watching Mike and the way that he danced around the pocket and his arm strength has always been above average. He’s just one of those guys that when you see him on tape, he just jumps off the tape.

On if he had guys down to practice in Florida…

Yeah, we had guys go down. Guys came down, and that’s the good thing about this team, we’re a very close-knit bunch. Guys want to put the work in. When Eric [Decker] was brought to the team, when Breno [Giacomini] was brought to the team and Chris Johnson, I made sure I contacted those guys and started to work on different things with them. I kind of brought them up to speed with the playbook as much as I could because we’re going to count on those guys, we’re going to need those guys. Like I said, we’re just working hard. We’re going to keep doing that and when the season comes around, we’ll get going.

On who he hosted in Florida…

I wouldn’t say I hosted them. Those guys, they wanted to work. I hit them up and they wanted to come down, they were eager to come down. I had Jacoby [Ford] when he got signed. Greg Salas came down. Stephen [Hill] always comes down and Jeremy [Kerley] came, so whoever is down there, I live down in Florida, so we just get work in and try to continue to progress and get better.

On if the turnovers are the biggest thing he feels he needs to clean up…

I wouldn’t say the biggest thing, but it’s definitely right up there. A lot of things need to improve. My entire game needs to improve. It starts with, like I said, studying that film and studying my playbook and just continuing to get better. That’s what I’m working on.

On why he thinks he had multiple giveaways last season…

Being a rookie, playing in a new offense, playing for the first time in the NFL, there’s a lot that goes into it. I don’t want to make any excuses. The key thing is that we need to improve on it and not make the same mistakes.

On if there is more pressure on him since he is no longer a rookie…

I didn’t make those excuses and I never will. Going into year two, I’m not putting pressure on myself more than it needs to be. I’m going to continue to get better and I believe that’s the way that it needs to be. We need to continue to work, as an group, as an offense and as a team. We have to get better and have that never say die attitude and just never be satisfied, never be satisfied with anything. As long as we compete hard, we’ll be better. We have the right coaches and the right staff in place.

On if it feels like the stakes are higher this year…

No, we’re not looking ahead. Right now, we are taking it one step at a time, and we’re about to start OTAs and that’s what’s important for us. We have to take every single rep as hard as we can and continue to jell. We’ve already started doing good things and, like I said, we’re carrying that momentum that we had last year later in the year on to this year. We have to just get better and we’re not going to look ahead and put any added pressure onto ourselves because it doesn’t need to be there.

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