"It was strictly my knee and the way that I was performing. When my knee was swollen every fourth day or so, I couldn't do anything. That was the deciding factor. It was hard. But I held back the tears. I'm just happy and excited to move on with my next chapter in life."
That next chapter might include coaching with the Jets this summer. Garrad said, "The Jets offered me the chance to come back if I want to take a shot at that coaching thing with an internship in training camp. I told them I'd talk with my wife about it, so I could still work with those guys. It's definitely something I'm considering."
Garrard said he doesn't need surgery on the knee. He also offered his thoughts on both Smith and Sanchez.
"I think Geno's going to be great," Garrard said. "He still has a lot to learn in the NFL. He definitely has to work. But he has what it takes. Now he has to go out and prove it.
"The one thing the kid has is he's definitely the guy of the future. He'll get a whole lot more attention from the fans, because they definitely want to see that new guy, especially since Mark has had a rough couple of years."
Garrard also said in the brief time he was around Smith, he didn't see the so-called diva attitude that Smith was accused of having in the run-up to the draft.
Garrard said, "He has that chip on his shoulder. Sometimes you need a little bit of that. Just look at Aaron Rodgers. It really comes down to the way they (Smith and Sanchez) play in the preseason. I really can't say who's going to have the upper hand. The competition is truly open.
"Geno had none of the signs of the negative things the media was talking about him. He didn't try and big-time you. He was very attentive, never shrugged you off. He told me he was excited to work with me. He definitely had the makeup I saw in college -- worked his butt off and was a field general out there."
Still, Garrard said Sanchez shouldn't be counted out in the competition for the starting job.
"If he goes out there as the vet and gets back to just playing ball and not thinking too much on the field, he's going to make it tough on (the coaching staff)," Garrard said. "It's up to those guys (Smith and Sanchez), the way they carry themselves and handle the offense, really putting points on the board and winning ballgames.
"So when they get to the preseason, it's really going to show who should be the guy."
--The true evidence of whether or not Geno Smith is cut out to be a franchise quarterback -- and a franchise quarterback in the New York market -- won't begin to appear for at least several months.
But he made a good first impression during rookie minicamp this past weekend, when Smith did and said all the right things during his opening days in a Jets uniform.
Upon arriving at a Florham Park hotel on Thursday night, Smith worked with the offensive line on cadences and other huddle-type activities. He appeared to have a good command of the offense during workouts on Friday and Saturday.
"I just come out and be my natural self," Smith said. "I think I've always been a natural leader and that's something that my teammates of the past can attest to. Right now, it's about getting to know these guys and allowing them to understand me and let me lead them in a way."
Yet asked to grade his performance on Friday, Smith said he'd give himself an "F" and that he still had to work on learning everything, including the playbook, of which he's only been handed one-third.
Smith also handled a pair of press conferences at his locker -- especially a Friday session peppered with questions about the negative buzz surrounding him before and during the draft as well as his search for a new agent -- with a veteran's aplomb.
Of course, leading a bunch of rookies -- most of them of the undrafted variety -- throwing passes in a minicamp setting and fielding questions on the second weekend of May is a lot different than trying to get an offense all on the same page and facing the blitzes, on and off the field, that come with quarterbacking in the NFL.
But Smith's minicamp performance was an important first step for a player whose maturity was questioned in the days leading up to and following his selection by the Jets.
"With us, we just go by what we see," coach Rex Ryan said Friday. "Don't let someone (say), 'Well, this guy didn't do this at our interviews,' or whatever.
"We were impressed with Geno and all the other stuff is behind him. I think the kid is a pretty decent kid."
Jets running back Mike Goodson was arrested in Denville, N.J., as the passenger of a vehicle found stopped in the center-left lane of Route 80 at 3 a.m. Friday.
Goodson was the passenger in a car driven by Garant Evans. He faces charges for possession of marijuana (under 50 grams), possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a loaded handgun and possession of hollow point ammunition according to New Jersey State Police documents obtained by The Sports Xchange.
Goodson was "determined by medics to require hospital evaluation" before being booked at Netcong State Police Barracks, where Evans had been transported earlier.
Police discovered a loaded 45-caliber handgun while searching the vehicle.
Evans was arrested for driving while intoxicated, charged with a separate count of possession of a weapon by persons prohibited because of a prior felony conviction and also with the same five charges Goodson faces. His cash bail was set at $150,000. Bail for Goodson was set at $50,000.
Goodson signed a three-year, $6.9 million contract this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. He played last season with the Oakland Raiders, who acquired Goodson from the Carolina Panthers prior to the start of the 2012 season.
Goodson's father is currently serving a 20-year federal prison term for mail and wire fraud.
As a second-year player, Quinton Coples didn't have to be in Florham Park this past weekend. But unfortunately for Coples, he was on coach Rex Ryan's mind.
Asked if the selection of first-rounder Sheldon Richardson prompted the Jets' decision to move Coples to outside linebacker, Ryan said that Coples—expected to become a core player this year after leading the Jets with 5.5 sacks last season—would have to compete for a job if his effort didn't improve.
"If Quinton doesn't do a better job in the weight room, he'll have to compete, like anyone else, for a job," Ryan said. "I'm a little disappointed in 'Que' in the weight room in the last day."
Such comments are alarming considering Coples was dogged by questions about his work ethic and motor prior to the 2012 draft. Coples' quiet start to his rookie season annoyed the coaching staff, though Ryan and his assistants were pleased with how Coples ended his rookie season.
Ryan said Coples' only poor day in the weight room was Thursday and that he was calling him out because he believes he has so much potential.
"He's been doing great," Ryan said. "But anytime I have the chance to get him, I'm going to, because I expect so much from him. And if he lets up a little bit, then we're going to make sure he knows it."
Still, it was certainly noteworthy that Ryan's initial comment about Coples' weight-room performance came on the question immediately after he was asked about Richardson possibly being too aggressive on the field.
"There's that old saying, 'You can always slow them down, it's hard to speed them up,'" Ryan said. "That's a good thing."
With Coples, maybe not.
Ryan would be in some trouble if head coaches in the NFL treated each other like politicians.
For the second time in as many seasons, Ryan has flip-flopped regarding the role he'll take in overseeing both the offense and defense. After trying to spend a lot of time in offensive meetings last season, Ryan said Saturday he will focus most of his energies on defense—where he'll be the primary play-caller—and leave the offense in the hands of new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
That was the approach Ryan took during most of his first three seasons at the helm, a span in which the Jets made consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game and were eliminated from playoff contention on the final Sunday of the season in his third campaign.
While those teams were loaded with veterans, Ryan said he is returning to his roots because the Jets have so many new faces and new starters on defense this year.
"I think that makes more sense with me doing that, really getting down there and getting more hands-on," Ryan said. "When we really never had to replace guys as much as we're going to have to, I felt I'd be in more of the head coach role, and we all know where that got us. So I'm going back to doing what I do, and that's teach and coach primarily on defense."
-Former Jets wide receiver George Sauer died on Tuesday of Alzheimer's disease in Westerville, Ohio, according to the New York Daily News. He was 69.
Sauer helped the Jets win Super Bowl III over the Baltimore Colts with eight catches for 133 yards, even though the Jets were heavy underdogs.
"I just found out today," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Saturday. "He had Alzheimer's. Obviously, that's a terrible disease. My stepmom suffers from that, so (our) thoughts go out to his family and everyone affected from that.
"The thing I remember about George Sauer going back, I was a young kid when my dad was coaching with the Jets, and everybody knew about Don Maynard obviously, a great receiver (and) a Hall of Fame receiver, but the thing (is) George Sauer stepped up in the biggest moment. I think he caught eight balls in the Super Bowl. So, that's what I remember about George Sauer, but obviously he was a tremendous player."
Sauer starred collegiately at Texas and played six seasons with the Jets. He had at least 1,000 yards receiving three times. He led the AFL with 75 receptions in the 1967-68 season. After retiring from the NFL at age 27, he spent the 1974 season with the New York Stars and Charlotte Hornets of the World Football League.
"I'm an open sponge here. I'm just here to learn and I'm learning from everyone. It's kind of like learning on the job. I'm a rookie and there's going to be ups and downs, but it's about weathering the storm."—Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith.
A closer look at the Jets' picks:
Round 1/9 - Dee Milliner, CB, 6-0, 201, Alabama
Milliner was one of the most decorated cornerbacks in the draft, as well as perhaps its most banged-up. He's already had five surgeries, including a recent shoulder operation to repair a torn labrum, but the Jets are confident in his medical records and believe he can perform in the NFL as he did at Alabama, where he led the nation with 21 pass breakups last year. Not drafted to replace Darrelle Revis, but will likely anchor the secondary for years to come.
Round 1/13 - Sheldon Richardson, DT, 6-3, 294, Missouri
Viewed as a bit of a reach by many draftniks, but Richardson fills a glaring need for a team that lost its two starting nose tackles and whose rush defense fell to 26th in the NFL last season. Richardson only played two years at Missouri but led the SEC with 75 tackles last year and recorded 30 tackles on third or fourth down.
Round 2/39—Geno Smith, QB, 6-3, 218, West Virginia
One way or the other, he'll likely be the defining pick of the John Idzik Era. Jets were thrilled he fell from a potential No. 1 overall pick all the way into their laps in the second round, but is it a good idea to draft a quarterback when the head coach is very likely entering a lame-duck season? Smith's struggles in the second half of his senior season - and in the wintry conditions of the Pinstripe Bowl, located just a few miles from MetLife Stadium - are cause for concern, but his upside was too good to pass up. May not be an immediate starter, but Mark Sanchez's days in green and white are surely numbered.
Round 3/72 - Brian Winters, G, 6-4, 320, Kent State
Another pick who will contribute right away. Winters played left tackle at Kent State but is expected to move to guard for the Jets, who lost guards Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore via free agency. A tough (he was a wrestler in high school) and experienced (50 starts in college) player, Winters should fit right in with the Jets' lunch-pail offensive line.
Round 5/141 - Oday Aboushi, T, 6-6, 308, Virginia
Aboushi, a Brooklyn native, is more of a project, especially with Austin Howard ahead of him on the depth chart. Like Winters, he played guard at the Senior Bowl and could end up becoming a versatile utilityman along the line.
Round 6/178 - William Campbell, DT, 6-5, 311, Michigan
Yet another player who will switch positions as a pro. Campbell played in 51 straight games, mostly at defensive tackle, for the Wolverines but is expected to move to the offensive line. He's more of a long-term project than Aboushi and may not see much action as a rookie.
Round 7/215 - Tommy Bohanon, RB, 6-1 246, Wake Forest
Bohanon was a do-everything type at Wake Forest who played four years of special teams and has experience at both tight end and H-back, so he has the potential to be a useful late-round find. With Lex Hilliard atop the depth chart at fullback, Bohanon should have a chance to compete for the starting job immediately.
WR Braylon Edwards made an unlikely return to the Jets after he was cut by the Seahawks last December and became an unlikely contributor with 10 catches in the final three games. Of course, he was a contributor solely because the Jets had the worst wide receiver corps in the league. Edwards is clearly on the downside at 30, and the fact that new Jets GM John Idzik was with the Seahawks last year surely doesn't help his chances of returning.
G Brandon Moore is one of the Jets' two longest-tenured players and he showed no signs of slowing down in his 11th season and would likely be welcomed back. He did appear worn out by the constant drama surrounding the Jets, though, and could seek a deal with a contender.
WR Chaz Schilens played in 15 games, his most since his rookie year in 2008, but Schilens proved to be nothing more than a replacement-level talent. Won't likely be pursued by Idzik and might have a hard time finding a deal anywhere.
LB Bryan Thomas is the lone remaining signee from 2002. He fared pretty well as a rotational player before suffering a torn pectoral muscle in December. That's just the latest injury in a litany of ailments suffered by Thomas over the years and more proof there's little left in the tank. His chances of returning may have further diminished when it was revealed he was arrested on domestic violence and drug possession charges in October.
(not tendered offers)
TE Dedrick Epps (not tendered as ERFA).
G Brian Winters (3/72): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
T Oday Aboushi (5/141): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
G Will Campbell (6/178): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
FB Tommy Bohanonn (7/215): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
TE Jeff Cumberland: RFA tendered at $1.323M with no compensation; $1.323M/1 yr.
K Nick Folk: UFA; $780,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
RB Lex Hilliard: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
T Austin Howard: RFA tendered at $2.023M with second-round pick as compensation); terms unknown.
LB Josh Mauga: Potential RFA; terms unknown.
LB Calvin Pace: FA, had been released by Jets; 1 yr, terms unknown.
LS Tanner Purdum: Not tendered as RFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
LB Antwan Barnes: UFA Chargers; $4M/3 yrs, $900,000 SB.
G Willie Colon: FA Steelers; $1.2M/1 yr.
NT Antonio Garay: FA Chargers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
QB David Garrard: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
RB Mike Goodson: UFA Raiders; $6.9M/3 yrs.
RB Chris Ivory (trade Saints).
S Jaiquawn Jarrett: FA; terms unknown.
S Dawan Landry: FA Jaguars; terms unknown.
G Stephen Peterman: FA Lions; terms unknown.
FB/TE Josh Baker (released).
S Yeremiah Bell: UFA Cardinals; 1 yr, $905,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
DE Mike DeVito: UFA Chiefs; $12.6M/3 yrs, $6.2M guaranteed.
RB Shonn Greene: UFA Titans; $10M/3 yrs, $2.5M guaranteed.
TE Dustin Keller: UFA Dolphins; $4.25M/1 yr, $2.25M guaranteed.
S LaRon Landry: UFA Colts; $24M/4 yrs, $14M guaranteed.
NT Sione Po'uha (released).
CB Darrelle Revis (traded Buccaneers).
LB Bart Scott (released).
G Matt Slauson: UFA Jets; $815,000/1 yr, $100,000 SB/$200,000 guaranteed.
S Eric Smith (released).
T Jason Smith (released).
QB Tim Tebow (released).