The New York Jets were supposed to roll into their own home as visitors, show what Geno Smith can do, and hopefully answer some questions about the QB position for the 2013 season. Instead, they won the game against the New York Giants Saturday night but have created many more questions and in some cases some anxiety for Jets fans.
The Rookie Geno Smith struggled mightily for most of the game going into the beginning of the 4th quarter. Rex Ryan, as planned, put Mark Sanchez in to play and injured his shoulder from a direct hit on his throwing side.
The Jets announced prior to the game that Mark was going to see playing time while Geno would get the chance to start. Now with Geno clearly not ready to play as the start in the league, it seemed that in the 4th quarter many Jets fans were concedeing that it was going to be Sanchez week 1. Now I know the coaches felt the same way, yet it seems that Rex “stayed with the script” and put Mark in the game with the backup players, specifically line.
If Rex and the coaches KNEW Geno was not going to be the guy, why risk Sanchez? Now it’s easy for me to sit here and criticize the move as everyone else has, but it’s ok to go off your script and change the plans especially when you have new information. Mark became more valuable while the game was being played. Rex should have been aware of this and put Simms in to mop up the rest of the game.
But Mark Still had to Prove and Win the Job, Right?
I completely disagree with people that said we still needed to see how Mark would do in the game. Mark struggled because the line got him killed. Mark is hurt because his line let the defenders chase him out of the pocket and take a direct hit. Like it or not, by Geno struggling, Mark won the right to be the starter week 1.
As I stated before, once Rex knew the game was too fast for Geno, the competition should have been over right then and there. The three interceptions were evidence enough, but the safety where Geno ran out of the end zone should have been the icing on the cake.
So What do we do Now?
We are still awaiting news about Mark Sanchez’s health. Assuming that he is ok, he’ll be the starter week 1. If he requires bench time to get healthy, here lies the rub. Who should get the start. The QB competition has been a two man race up until now. I believe it still is. I know it’s foolish to throw a rookie into lineup if he isn’t ready and Geno isn’t ready.
If you Geno struggles out of the gate, you risk ruining his career if he can’t handle the adversity. It is the exception not the rule that rookies do well their first season. Their have been rumors that the Jets are to bring in Matt Leinert, John Beck or Trent Edwards. To now, it’s all rumor.
On the bench behind Smith and Sanchez, you have Matt Simms and Greg McElroy. Greg saw game time last season when Sanchez went down and the team refused to go the Tebow route. Simms is a raw talent just trying to make the team. I honestly don’t believe that any of these two guys is the long term solution. In fact, maybe the long term solution isn’t on the team. If Geno can’t adapt, the Jets may choose a QB in next year’s draft.
If the Jets strategy is to move on from Sanchez and just get by this season with Geno in their plans for the future, then they should go the McElroy route. Sanchez can heal and Geno can learn. If they want to see what Smith has now (we already have an idea), throw the rookie in and don’t look back to Sanchez regardless if he gets better. If Smith fails this year, you draft that quarterback.
Many Jets fans want to see Simms start. Simms comes from a great bloodline with his father Phil, but realisticly, these Jets fans I feel are very desperate for a savior. In one week alone, they went from rooting between the 1 and 2 ranked to the QB over the 3rd (IMO) right to the 4th. I mean this in the nicest way possible: There is no way the Jets start with Matt Simms agains the Bucs in week 1. Book it.
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