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Bowles Gives Updates on the QB Situation

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 19:26
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(Before It's News)

Geno Smith

Todd Bowles spoke to the media today and a lot of the press conference centered around the announcement that Geno Smith would start at QB on Sunday. We don’t normally run full transcripts but this is a good read. Here is everything Bowles said today about all four quarterbacks on the roster.

On making the change to Geno Smith…
I felt like it was time for a change. We had six games where we didn’t play very well in five of them. The quarterback is ultimately responsible but I’m responsible, the rest of the team is responsible. I felt like it would be a good time to make a chance to see what he can do. When you have guys of equal talent at a equal talent level and one’s not playing as well, you try to turn to the other one. That’s what we did.

On why he was so strong in his support of Ryan Fitzpatrick after the game…
After the game you could ask me about anybody, I would have told you they were going to start. If I make a decision without consulting with my coaches or the general manager or the players themselves, you guys are not going to be the first to know. They are going to be the first to know. So if you ask me about anybody after the game, I would have said the same thing. But until I watch the film and we have our Monday meeting, that’s when I make my decisions. So that’s why I said it.

On if his decision was influenced by someone or if it was strictly his call…
This was strictly my call.

On whether he saw anything on film from Fitzpatrick that changed his decision…
No, it’s all our fault. It’s still not Fitz’s fault. Fitz is not falling on the sword for anything. I take responsibility, the coaches take responsibility, the offensive line and the receivers take responsibility. But I felt it was time for a change. We got up there in the turnover category. We hadn’t put any points up and we’re trying to get a spark somewhere so I made the change.

On whether he considers Smith and Fitzpatrick equal talents…
I figured they both started and played in this league. They’re equal talent. They do different things well. Each of them do different things well. Going in, Geno had a shot at it last year, Fitz took it over and played well. Fitz had a shot at it this year and Geno took it over.

On whether he feels Smith gives the team the best chance to win on Sunday or if this team just needs a spark…
Little bit of both. We’ve been stagnant on offense. Not to say we’ve been playing great on defense either but we’ve been stagnant on offense and we have some things in place where we think another quarterback will probably right now be beneficial.

On whether Smith can play himself into the franchise’s future plans…
It’s too early to tell on that right now. We just want him to play against Baltimore.

On why he spoke with Mike Maccagnan and the coaching staff if the quarterback change was his decision…
It’s just a protocol factor and a respect factor. That’s the way I do things.

On if those meetings offered any clarity…
Nothing I didn’t see the night before. We’re all on the same page.

On whether Smith is on a short leash…
Geno’s our starter.

On whether Fitzpatrick is the number two…
Ryan’s the two.

On if the choice was solely between Fitzpatrick and Smith…
Bryce (Petty) has only practiced for a week and Hack’s (Christian Hackenberg) not ready. It was Geno or Fitz.

On if this decision was on his mind during yesterday’s conference call…
That was my thought, yes but I like to hear from the other coaches. I like to hear from management. I like to hear everybody’s input.

On what gives him confidence that Smith has the leadership qualities…
I think Fitz had leadership qualities but it’s not about leadership now. It’s also about production and we’re not producing in certain areas, not just the quarterback position so we made the change. I know he’s got talent, I know Fitz can lead, I know Geno can lead. It’s about making plays and not turning the ball over.

On Smith’s leadership qualities at the quarterback position…
He’s played it his whole life. He’s got great spunk in the huddle. He understands the game plan and he practiced the whole spring. He started in this league before. He’s grown. He’s spent a lot of rough years but he’s grown in this league. We’ll see if that transpires and he’s got the opportunity to do so.

On whether Smith’s teammates respect him…
I’m sure they do. You can respect people as a player and not hang out with that person. This is football. They don’t have to be best friends. They don’t hate him. They all get along in the locker room. They respect his ability and he respects their ability.

On whether Smith will remain the starter if the Jets get eliminated from the playoffs…
He’s our starter right now and we’ll see how things go down the line. I can only go week-to-week.

On how Fitzpatrick took the news…
He’s a pro. I’m sure he’s disappointed. It was disappointing telling him but he’s a pro. He understands it and he’s been in it. Geno had to do it last year. Fitz has to do it this year.

On whether he could potentially turn back to Fitzpatrick this season…
It’s possible I can, yes.

On whether it was a mistake to bring back Fitzpatrick…
I don’t think it was a mistake based off what he did last year. He had the statistics and everything else. I mean he set records and everything else. You want that kind of karma and chemistry back. It just hasn’t happened this year.

On whether he believes he should have turned to Smith sooner…
No, I don’t.

On his comments yesterday about backups, and that backup becoming a starter today…
I wasn’t referring to him (Smith). I was referring to backups in general. Backups are backups for a reason. Either the guy in front of you is playing well and you don’t have a chance to play, or you’re not doing some of the things that you need to do to start. But at the time, Fitz had a great season last season. He came into the season as a starter. He earned that and he hadn’t played well as of late, neither have a lot of other people, and Geno got to be the starter now. What he said on the sideline had absolutely nothing to do with my decision or how I feel.

On what he’s seen from Smith in practice so far this season…
He takes reps. He’s been taking reps with the first team all week. Practice is easy. The games are different. I’ve seen progress from a lot of people in practice that hasn’t translated to Sunday. But he had an opportunity to do some things on Sunday that he’s been denied from for a year and half, so we’re going to see if he can do it.

On whether the offense changes with Smith at quarterback…
A few things change, yes.

On whether Smith was any different at practice today…
He was the same. I mean he practiced the same. He’s been a pro the whole time, so he’s been the same today as he’s always been.

On how many first team reps Smith has received during practice this season…
Fitz gets about 70-80 (percent), Geno got about 20-30 percent.

On whether the percentage will flip now…
Yes, that’ll flip the other way.

On amount of practice Bryce Petty requires before he can be considered as a potential starter…
He needs to practice a good bit. He needs to practice a good bit and get some reps. A week coming back after over a month, he needs to practice a little while.

On whether he was considering a change to Smith Monday night similar to after the Houston Texans game last season…
I had to see the film. In my mind, I had to see the film. In my mind after this game, I had to see the film to really make a decision. I saw the film and made my decision.

On reason Hackenberg is not ready yet…
You’ve got to get reps to get ready. He’s a rookie quarterback and he’s got three in front of him. He’s not going to get enough reps to be ready to throw in there like that. He’s getting plenty of scout team reps. He’s learning poise in the pocket and is getting experience that way.

On why Fitzpatrick hasn’t been able to make plays this year compared to last year…
It’s a good question. It’s a little bit of everything. It’s a little bit on the offensive line. It’s on the coaches. It’s on the receivers. It’s on the running backs and it’s on Fitz. We didn’t gel and come together like we did last year. We haven’t been producing, so I thought it was time for a change.

On what he anticipates will change with Smith as quarterback and how the issues on offense will be corrected…
We’ve got to correct it and turn the season around. It’s up to the coaches to do it. It’s up to the players to do it as well. We’ve got some different things in for Geno and hopefully it (creates) a spark. It gives him the opportunity to play. We’re 1-5 and we haven’t shown any signs of progress on offense, so I made the change.

On if he wanted to see a full body of work from Fitzpatrick before making the change to Smith…
Yes, anytime you have a quarterback like that, that had a season the way he had, you give him the full confidence going into the season. If (he) has a bad game, you’ve got to give him time to shake it off and do those certain types of things and come back from it. In the past four games over the course of time, we hadn’t really come back from it. At that point, you’ve got to start looking at other options.

On if he believes Fitzpatrick missing OTA’s and mini-camp contributed to his play thus far…
No, I don’t.

On nature of Woody Johnson’s involvement in these types of decisions…
Woody is a bright guy. He owns the team. You always solicit his opinion. You always let him know what’s going on with the team. It’s his team to run. You try to give opinions here or there, but we talk about it and we have our own private discussions, and we go from there.

On if he talked to Johnson before deciding that Smith will be the starting quarterback…
We talk all of the time.

On what his thoughts are on Smith’s comments from the game…
My thoughts are that it’s just gossip and I don’t pay it any mind.

On the comments not being gossip because he said it…
He said it to you all and you all write what you want to write. For me, it’s gossip. It had no bearing on him playing or not playing or anything else he has to say on the field. It has no bearing. It’s really a waste of my time.

On if he takes any stock in sideline behavior…
When it gets out of hand, yes. I take a lot of stock in sideline behavior.

On if he takes any stock in a backup quarterback demonstrating visible frustration after the starting quarterback throws an interception…
I’ve seen starters throw frustration. I’ve seen backups at every position have frustration. His story is no bigger than what it is.

On if it worries him that Smith verbalized his frustration to a national broadcaster…
It’s like dirt off the back of my shoulder. I have no issues with that. Ok? Me and Geno talked. We have our discussions. I talk with everyone on this team. He knows where I stand. We have a good understanding.

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