Boyd balancing playbook knowledge, relaxing on field

New York Jets quarterback Tajh Boyd throws a pass at the team's NFL football training camp Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J.  Boyd was a sixth-round pick from Clemson. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

New York Jets quarterback Tajh Boyd throws a pass at the team's NFL football training camp Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. Boyd was a sixth-round pick from Clemson. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

In a time of transition to the next level, Tajh Boyd’s biggest problem right now might just be…his Madden rating.

“I can’t play myself on the video game. My accuracy is a 78. I can’t even complete a screen pass,” Boyd said in an SB Nation interview recently, where he also expressed a penchant for llamas and a wariness of dolphins (the latter half of the interview is great). “That’s the motivation. The great thing about video games because they’re so interactive – the rating changes throughout the season. We’re going to make some moves.”

Obviously he’s had a little more on his mind than his virtual doppelganger, battling as a sixth-round pick to stay in the mix with vet Jets’ signee Michael Vick and incumbent starter Geno Smith.

Boyd says the Jets were surprised to have him there so late to select.

“(They said) we honestly didn’t think you were going to be here at this point so we had to take you,” said Boyd. “(NY GM) John Idzik said at pro day I was the best he had ever seen at one point. I’m just trying to go out there and help wherever I can. Obviously I don’t know the role (yet) – you’ve got Mike Vick and Geno Smith.

“I feel like I’m able to compete, but at the same time, there’s a whole process with it. It’s learning the playbook, now it’s understanding what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s like starting back over.”

Another Hampton Roads (Va.) product, Vick has passed along some helpful tips.

“Mike is more so telling me to go out there and relax,” Boyd said. “Go out there and be free, be natural – it’s easy to say for him he’s been playing for 12 seasons and just going out there to compete. I’m just trying to go out there. I’m just trying to put too many pieces together instead of just playing.

“Whenever the game gets back to the point where you can just be yourself, it’s the point where you’re having fun again.”

A former 2012 Orange Bowl foe, Smith is another model of sorts for the former Tigers’ QB.

“He’s kind of a similar situation to me last year, coming from an offense that didn’t necessarily correlate to what they’re doing,” Boyd said. “It’s a true West-Coast (offense) and we both played the spread. He was going through some of the same struggles I am now as far as knowing every pass play has a certain footwork to it. It won’t work this way if you’re not directly correlated to the play. It’s been good in itself and understanding and learning from those guys.”

Boyd says that not just knowing the playbook, but communicating the plays effectively will be a key for him in the late summer into the fall.

“A lot of it is verbage,” he said. “Plays get a little lengthy. It’s a work in progress…It’s a transition just in talking. Talking is something you naturally, but you have to spit the play out fast and these guys are 30-32 years old in the huddle and they want to know the play right now. You have to take it home and recite the plays back and over and over. That’s what I’ve been doing.”

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