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Jets encouraging Smith to use legs more

The SportsXchange

Just days after pulling his rookie quarterback in an ugly loss at the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Geno Smith enjoyed a good week of practice throwing the ball.

But if Smith wants to use his legs more, great.

Smith completed just 8 of 23 passes for 103 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions before being pulled against the Bills for backup Matt Simms. Smith ran just one time against the Bills for no yards, and the coaching staff would like to see him pull the ball down and use his legs rather than force passes downfield.

"The possibility of (running). Sometimes there's tips about certain coverages and things," Ryan said. "There's a difference between two-zone and two-man, obviously, but a lot of the man things, sometimes you'll have more of an opportunity to run, it goes without saying, (the defender's) back is to the quarterback, so there's bigger plays to be made that way."

Smith has a 25.7 passer rating in November, and a 43.4 rating in the Jets' five losses this season compared to an 89.4 in their victories. On the season, he has carried the ball just 37 times for 172 yards, but has scored three touchdowns on the ground.

"Geno's athletic enough to where he can burn you on that," Ryan said. "He's not a 4.4 speed guy, but he's quick enough and fast enough to where he can do some damage when he's running."

Ryan said pulling Smith last week was not a punishment, and equated it to pulling a pitcher in baseball and giving someone else an opportunity to get playing time.

--WR Jeremy Kerley (dislocated left elbow) was listed as doubtful after taking part in limited practice again Friday. Despite missing two games this season due to the elbow injury and a concussion, Kerley leads the Jets with 28 catches for 347 yards.

"It was ugly, there's no question," Ryan said about Kerley's initial injury. "I don't know how else to describe it, but like a horrific looking injury. There haven't been a whole lot of receivers that have had this injury, like three in the last 10 years or something.

"It's kind of hard to say where he is, but the young man, to his credit, he wants to be out there in the worst way and obviously (Thursday he practiced). He's showing it during the week, he's practicing. But again, we'll see how it goes. He's already way further along than I think what people were assuming.

--WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring, foot) took part in limited practice Friday and is probable. He missed five games with a hamstring injury before returning against the Bills last Sunday and finishing with two catches for a team-high 71 yards in the Jets' 37-14 loss. Holmes has 12 catches for 314 yards and one touchdown in five games this season.

--TE Kellen Winslow (knee) took part in limited practice Friday, but is expected to continue to increase his snaps in his second game following his four-game suspension.

"I can definitely see us using Kellen more," Ryan said. "Remember, he just got back. He came back off a suspension. It's not saying he was out of shape or anything, once you've been out like that, it's hard to just go right back to where you were. So it wasn't surprising to see he wasn't a huge fixture in the game plan (last) week. We'll see if it picks up more this week. It probably will."

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