Rejoice, Jets fans. Rex Ryan has his pick between a quarterback who floats the ball and one who has embarrassing conditioning.
At least, that's the latest word from a couple of NFL Network analysts, according to NFL.com's Dan Hanzus.
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 3:05 p.m. ET by Gabe Zaldivar
Rex Ryan sounded off on his young quarterback, who some thought seemed to be out of shape. Here is what he had to say, via ESPN New York's Jane McManus (h/t Pro Football Talk):
Ryan on Geno Smith's conditioning: "He seems fine to me. When he ran for 80 yards that one play he looked good to me." #Jets— Jane McManus (@janesports) July 31, 2013
Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential also received word, however few, on what the coach thinks of Baldinger's quote:
"I have none - that is his opinion." - Geno Smith on Brian Baldinger saying he has a conditioning problem.— Dan Leberfeld (@jetswhispers) July 31, 2013
---End of update---
Here is what Brian Baldinger saw during the initial throes of Jets camp:
"He looked good to me yesterday until he ran gassers at the end of practice," said Baldinger, who attended Jets training camp in Cortland, N.Y., on Sunday. "And Geno Smith looked like he had done no conditioning. It was actually embarrassing to see how far behind he (Mark) Sanchez and (Matt) Simms and everybody else that's there."
Perhaps Geno Smith was caught unaware there would be running involved with his new gig.
The analyst was far more impressed with how Smith conducted himself in and around the huddle, remarking that he was quick to the line of scrimmage and had the ball out of his hands in a flash.
Really, these are just the kind of audacious observations that come in the early days of camp. Consider the hype and backlash that came from one picture taken at a bad angle of the Packers' Eddie Lacy recently.
We have all been waiting months for any sign of football and will embrace every last drop once the tap begins to flow with any amount of action.
Essentially, it's early in the process and Smith is apparently impressive, if not a little gassed.
NFL Network analyst Heath Evans was also at camp. He said Smith may have the edge in this two-quarterback race:
"You see a lot of accuracy, a lot of zip on the ball obviously from Geno," Evans observed. "You see some balls sailing, or what I would say floating, for Mark Sanchez."
The Gang Green grumps around you might say the QB competition is between a rookie who is obviously out of shape and a veteran who is tossing up grapefruits.
Those giddy and adorable optimists of the group might say a budding talent is ready to take over the offense with a cannon arm. We will let you all decide which camp you fall into.
What's clear is the Jets have a long way to go, which is true for every team at this stage in training camp.
It might seem like Smith came into camp without the forethought that there would be wind sprints, which is just this side of ridiculous, especially when you consider he is trying to win a job.
Conditioning, over a great many things, can be controlled. That's actually something that can be worked on.
Still, we will cut the kid some slack because he has some zip on the ball. It's not much, but Jets fans will take it considering the last couple of seasons.
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