Geno Smith has gotten headlines the last few days for his still interception-less training camp during 7-on-7 and team drills. But what about Greg McElroy? He hasn’t thrown a pick, either.
That’s not to say that McElroy’s time at SUNY Cortland has been perfect, but the experience has still been good.
“There are, like, two throws that I’d really like to have back. One was an inaccurate throw and the other was a throw that just got away from me a little,” the redheaded third-year Jets signalcaller recalled. “I’d like to think I’m a bit of a perfectionist. If there’s one play, until I get it right and get an opportunity to do it again, I’m going to remember that play, remember what I did wrong and how I can improve it in the future.
“There’s certainly a lot of things to improve on, but I’m pleased with the way the first few days of camp have gone.”
Most reporters and many fans are consumed with how the starting quarterback battle between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith is going. But more than a few Jets followers also would like to hear from McElroy, so I tracked him down before lunch today to see how he’s faring and where his head’s at.
And one thing that came through clearly from G-Mac, the kid from Southlake, Texas, who quarterbacked a national title team in high school and another one even more famously at Alabama, is that he’s not consumed by the fact that head coach Rex Ryan and the Jets’ offensive coaches have not included him in a three-way camp battle for No. 1.
“My goal this camp is to improve on one individual aspect every single practice, and that’s all I focus on,” he said. “I’m pleased to be out there, and I’m just glad to be given reps and I try to make the most of that.
“Another one of my goals is to try to help Mark, Geno and Matt [Simms] any way I possibly can. That’s been what I’ve done over the last few years, try to help out the other guys around me and try to make them better. And that doesn’t just stop at quarterback. That goes to every position. I try to know as much about the offense as possible so if there is a situation where someone needs help, I would love to be able to assist them in any way possible.”
All the while, he’s continuing to pick up the nuances of coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast scheme. You hear about QBs having to learn two systems in two years or three in three, but counting his senior year at Alabama he’s had four different coordinators in four years, plus three other coordinators in his first three seasons with the Crimson Tide.
“I wouldn’t say I’m used to it but I’ve experienced it before. It’s a great challenge,” McElroy said of learning a new system, adding, “It’s been a treat learning the West Coast system. It’s a system you’ve grown up watching, a system you feel like you knew a lot about — until you actually get your hands on the playbook. Then it’s quite different than what you expected.”
Mac said he appreciates the attention to detail that Mornhinweg, RBs coach Anthony Lynn and OL coach Mike Devlin pay to the running game.
“So much of the time you hear about the West Coast being passpasspasspasspass, but Coach Mornhinweg’s done such a great job of going through our run installs. It’s really been a point of emphasis for us,” he said. “Marty’s a terrific offensive mind. He’s been in this league a long time and every player on that field has a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s done a great job.”
McElroy will continue trying to do a great job in his role, whether it’s pushing Sanchez and Smith for a few reps with the ones or fighting off Simms for the No. 3 job. His attitude would probably help make him a good pastor or teacher or coach. But right now he’s got another job to do.
“I get to wake up and put on pads and I get to go out and practice football and learn and discuss football and play the game I was playing at 5 years old in my front yard,” he said. “This is still a dream come true. I have an opportunity to play for this organization, to play for Rex, and I appreciate every second that I’m out here and I won’t ever take it for granted. Whatever my role may be, I want to do it the best I possibly can.”
Tags: Geno Smith, Greg McElroy, Mark Sanchez, Marty Mornhinweg, Matt Simms, Rex Ryan
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