FOXBOROUGH -- The Patriots will be the first team Geno Smith gets a second look at, so defensive end Rob Ninkovich said the Jets quarterback can play a big role in Sunday's game.
The key, Ninkovich said, is to make Smith's decisions as difficult as possible.
"For us, it comes down to us doing our job, knowing what your responsibility is before the ball is snapped, playing fast," Ninkovich said after Thursday's practice. "The read option is to make them read what is going on, and the faster you can make that read a hard decision, that’s when things go your way as a defensive player."
Smith passed for 214 yards and ran for 17 more in the Patriots' 13-10 Week 2 win at Gillette Stadium. The rookie from West Virginia is completing 59.5 percent of his passes on the season, with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He's been sacked 21 times.
On the ground, Smith is averaging 5.2 yards per rush, but has carried only 22 times.
"As the season’s progressed, they’ve become more comfortable with the things they’re doing," said Ninkovich. "That seems to happen with a team that likes to run that type of offense, with the option, how the quarterback is reading the defenses. The more reps you get at it, the better you get at the whole operation."
Ninkovich did enjoy a lighthearted moment with reporters who were kidding him about a cupcake named in his honor. Charlie's Cupcakes, which has several Massachusetts locations, has recently unveiled the Twixovich, since Ninkovich (a frequent customer) loves Twix candy bars.
"Go to Charlie’s, go get a Twixovich," its namesake said. "Every time I go there, I get one, I can’t help myself."