Heat swirling around the Jets' offense
The Sports Xchange
NFL Team Report - New York Jets - INSIDE SLANT
Geno Smith made his weekly appearance on ESPN Radio in New York City on Monday, when he was asked about fellow second-year signal-caller EJ Manuel losing his starting job with the Buffalo Bills.
Smith said he is friendly with Manuel, but doesn't spend time thinking about other teams and their quarterback situations. Good thing, because he's got his hands full trying to avoid following in Manuel's footsteps.
Smith's grip on his job grew weaker on Sunday, when he heard fans chant for Michael Vick in a 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions before he was captured on camera cursing at a fan who was yelling at him from behind the Jets' bench.
"Unfortunately, I've made the same mistake," said Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who once exchanged curses with a Patriots fan following a loss to the Jets' bitter rivals at MetLife Stadium. "I know some of our players have made some comments or whatever. It's frustrating at times because you're giving everything you have and unfortunately it hasn't been good enough these last three weeks."
While Smith promptly apologized Sunday, the flash of anger raised questions about his mindset as his struggles mount during the Jets' three-game losing streak, a stretch in which Smith is completing just 54 percent of his passes while throwing three touchdown passes and four costly interceptions.
The f-bomb heard around the tri-state area may also conjure up the criticisms about Smith's maturity that dogged him throughout the pre-draft process in 2013; criticisms that he was resoundingly disproving, at least until Sunday.
"I'm not going to reiterate the facts," Smith said during an occasionally testy press conference Monday. "It's over and done with and, quite honestly, I've moved on from it. I'm aware that my actions (were) not right, so I am subject to a fine."
Players who engage in unsportsmanlike conduct with fans are subject to a fine of $11,025 for a first offense.
"Whatever the ramifications will be, I will accept it," Smith said.
The ramifications may just be starting for Smith and the Jets.
NFL Team Report - New York Jets - NOTES, QUOTES
--The surest sign the Jets are in trouble appeared Monday, when the offense held the dreaded players-only meeting.
Quarterback Geno Smith said the meeting was collectively called by the entire unit and that it was a positive and productive get-together in which everybody spoke up.
"No grievances," Smith said. "I understand the semantics are a huge thing in this market, but no grievance. I don't want you guys to get that misunderstood. No one's hanging their head around here, no one's sad, no one's down on themselves. We're ready to go out and play."
Smith said he and his offensive teammates are focusing on eliminating mistakes and improving efficiency.
"It's apparent that (what has) been hurting us have been penalties and turnovers," Smith said, "We feel as though if we correct those things and then execute better in the red zone, we'll have a lot better shot at scoring more points."