Sunday, August 9, 2015

Geno Smith on fans' boos at MetLife Stadium: "You'd think we were on the road"

If anything was proved in the New York Jets' Green and White practice Saturday night, it's that no matter where Geno Smith plays, Jets fans will still not be patient with the erratic signal caller.

Even though the Jets traded for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team is still counting on Smith to be their opening-day starter — even if the decision hasn't been announced yet.

Smith has been sharp through nine practices, drawing a positive reaction from the fans who have watched practices at the team's facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. But the mood changed when they traveled 30 miles to their regular season home at MetLife Stadium.

Smith found that out on his second series in 11-on-11 drills when he was sacked, fumbled the ball and heard a smattering of boos from the more than 10,000 fans who showed up in the Meadowlands.

And how did he react to the boos Saturday night? 
"Man, I had a smile on my face,'' he said. "The camera should have zoomed in on me -- I had a big smile on my face. You'd think we were on the road today.''
It was hardly the first time Geno Smith has been booed at MetLife Stadium, but the Jets quarterback said he's confident he'll turn those jeers into cheers, "I know how to handle it now." 

And he got a chance to prove it. The boos got a little louder on Smith's next series when he was nearly was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie, who had tight coverage on Brandon Marshall, and then missed Marshall badly on the next throw.
After redeeming himself with a 35-yard TD pass to Marshall, the fans were cheering.

"We did it tonight, and hopefully they're a little bit more patient during the season,'' Smith said after the offense's 35-0 win over the defense. "It's a four-quarter game, and the only thing that matters is we win the game. You've just got to understand that fans are going to be fans, and you don't want to put too much emphasis on that. I don't worry about it. I think it's more important for my teammates to see how I react to it more than anything.''

Smith said the boo birds still have to give him a chance.

"Hopefully," he said, "they're a little more patient during the season."

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