EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Tippy Martinez Jersey . -- Pau Gasol was one of the NBAs best centres until two years ago, when he moved out of the middle to accommodate Andrew Bynums emergence and Dwight Howards move to the Los Angeles Lakers. With Bynum in Cleveland and Howard in Houston this fall, Gasol is ready to resume that prominent role. After battling injuries and pain throughout last season, Gasol is also healthier as the Lakers begin training camp. He had work done on both of his knees in the off-season to address tendinosis, and he thinks its working. The Lakers are counting on the 33-year-old Gasol reclaiming his championship-winning prominence. General manager Mitch Kupchak thinks Gasol will be an All-Star again if healthy, and coach Mike DAntoni calls him the best offensive centre in the NBA. Jack Fisher Jersey . They probably ruined Tim Duncans hopes of a career change, though. Duncan wants to be a point guard, coach Gregg Popovich revealed Saturday, a wish that wont be granted. Shawn Armstrong Jersey . Last July, F1 teams held in-season testing sessions at Silverstone to assess new tires provided by Pirelli after several blowouts on the same circuit at the British Grand Prix in June prompted a furious response from drivers and even a boycott threat the following week. FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith is staying put as the New York Jets starting quarterback. His hold on the job, however, is tenuous at best. "Hes our best shot, in my opinion," coach Rex Ryan said. Ryan confirmed Monday that hes sticking with the rookie despite Smiths struggles in the last several games. "I believe in Geno," Ryan said. "I think he has the tools to be a good quarterback in this league." Smith wasnt surprised when he was told Monday morning by quarterbacks coach David Lee that he would start the home game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. "Every day I come into this building, I fully expect to play," Smith said. "I prepare that way. When I got the news, it wasnt a major reaction." Smith was benched in favour of Matt Simms at halftime of the Jets 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins following another brutal performance. The rookie was 4 for 10 for 29 yards with an interception and an 8.3 quarterback rating in two quarters. "If it was a tactic to wake me up or get me going," Smith said, "it definitely worked because right now I definitely feel a sense of urgency." He has one touchdown pass -- against New England on Oct. 20 -- and 11 interceptions in his last seven games. The Jets (5-7) have lost three straight to go from controlling their playoff destiny a few weeks ago to barely hanging on in the post-season mix. Still, Smith will get the start against Oakland over Simms and veteran David Garrard, who hasnt played a regular-season game since 2010. "His perseverance is impressive to me," Ryan said about Smith. "Hell bounce back from this, and Im just waiting for him to have a great game." Simms said he was anxious coming to the facility, not knowing if he would get his first NFL start or remain Smiths backup -- at least for the next game. "Obviously, when you get out there on the field and you get a little taste of the real action, all you want is you want more of it," Simms said. "But nonetheless, Genos the man and Im going to support him and prepare like I have been. "If my numbers called again, then Ill go out there and play as hard I can again." Smith was booed loudly by the MetLife Stadium crowd at times before being replaced by Simms. The son of former Giants star Phil Simms was cheered as he jogged onto the field to start the third quarter, but didnt fare much better. He was 9 for 18 for 779 yards with an interception, and was sacked three times. Steve Stone Jersey . "I did enough to solidify that Im still the (backup)," Simms said, smiling. "So, at least I didnt play myself out of my job, so thats the key." Garrard spoke to Smith on the sideline after the benching, encouraging him to continue to cheer for the team and keep his spirits up. The veteran also thinks Smith will be able to bounce back. "He has it in him," Garrard said. "I think these are the growing pains of a young quarterback. Being able to play your way out of it is also going to be another good lesson for him too moving forward with his career. He has to find somewhere to dig down." While Smith is getting the bulk of the criticism among the players, the fact is there are several other culprits in the Jets recent spiral. The offensive line has been inconsistent, the defence -- particularly the secondary -- has been uncharacteristically leaky and the spate of injuries to key players on offence has left a dearth of top talent on the field. "Hes only struggling because were not helping him out," left guard Willie Colon said. "Thats the bottom line." After watching the film, Ryan reiterated what he said Sunday of the teams play against the Dolphins, calling it "just a poor performance on our part." The Dolphins dominated during the first two quarters, outgaining the Jets 265 yards to 39, with 16 first downs to New Yorks 2. Miami took control in the second half and finished by outgaining New York 453-177. "Obviously, hes going through some rough times," Ryan said about Smith. "These last three games havent been good for him. Quite honestly, it hasnt been good for a lot of us." NOTES: Ryan said KR-WR Josh Cribbs shoulder injury is "pretty bad. I think its pretty serious." The Jets could be in the market for a kick returner, especially since Ryan indicated that Antonio Cromartie (four returns, 31.5 yard average) wouldnt be an ideal option since hes the teams top cornerback. ... Ryan said S Ed Reed, off to a slow start with the Jets, will continue to start "unless hes injured." ... WR Santonio Holmes only played two snaps after sitting out all week with a hamstring injury. "We thought he was going to play a little more than that," said Ryan, who added that the coaches noticed "that burst wasnt quite there." ' ' '