Jets' Smith loses shoe on TD return
The Jets' Brad Smith had better learn to tie shoes tighter.
On second thought, maybe not if he can keep scoring touchdowns with only one cleat.
New York's all-purpose player scored on a critical 89-yard kickoff return — during which a cleat slipped off — in a 26-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
''He's a phenomenal athlete,'' coach Rex Ryan said. ''Everything we ask him to do, he does.''
With or without all of his footwear.
''I think all that running in the background with no shoes on with my brother,'' the versatile wide receiver said with a big grin, ''that helped.''
Smith also had a 53-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to give the Jets a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
But his fourth-quarter touchdown iced the matchup. The Bengals had kicked a field to cut the Jets' lead to 17-10 and on the ensuing kickoff Smith worked his magic.
Smith, a wide receiver and converted college quarterback, got a few nice blocks and had a nice cutback before losing a shoe midway through the return and zipping down the right sideline for a touchdown.
''You want to be a catalyst when you're on the field,'' Smith said. ''That's what it's really about that when you're down a little bit, just being able to be a spark.''