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Jets' Rex Ryan: Geno Smith 'came a million miles'

On Wednesday's edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, we expressed our faith in the overhauled New York Jets' offense leading Rex Ryan's squad to a playoff berth this season.

Embroiled last year in one of the worst quarterback slumps we've seen in October and November, Geno Smith began showing encouraging signs in leading the Jets to three December victories. He was even better in the season opener versus the Raiders, finishing with the third-highest single-game completion percentage in franchise history.

"He came a million miles," Ryan said Wednesday, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "It starts with his poise, his confidence, the fact that he really knows this offense, and he studies defensive coordinators, studies defenses, and he's confident. He can make all the throws. The young man's a very talented player."

A more creative Jets' offense cleared 400 yards in Week 1 for just the third time in the last 22 games, as Smith consistently moved the chains with long drives.

"His offseason, I think he improved as much as anybody that I've been around in his preparation work, and even physically," Ryan said. "He wanted to add some strength, and he did that during the offseason, as well."

While Smith's physical gifts were evident, he made a series of mental errors, including an interception, a fumble and questionable decision-making on a few scrambles. The good news is that those are learning opportunities for a young player showing obvious improvement.

With Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory and Eric Decker adding a playmaking element that was sorely lacking last season, Smith is set up for a breakout season on a potential playoff contender.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" makes some bold predictions about the 2014 season and backs them up by putting some sandwiches on the line.

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