Jul 28, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) takes a snap from under center from center Nick Mangold (74) during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Be Careful What You Wish For in the New York Jets’ QB Competition


It is becoming clear that the quarterback competition is “on”. Geno Smith is impressing everybody with his ability to learn the offense quickly, and for his rocket arm. Not as prominent, however, is the play of Mark Sanchez, but he has asserted himself well in his own right, not throwing an INT until yesterday morning’s practice.

The fan base has become a bit one-sided with this competition. The majority of the fan base is pulling for Geno Smith, and hoping that he pulls away from Mark and takes this job. They are hanging on the tweets of everything Geno does, and showing quite the excitement when he performs well.

It’s understandable to be frustrated about the quarterback play in recent years. Heck, Stevie Wonder would be frustrated with our quarterback play in recent years. You don’t have to be a football expert to realize that we need better play at the position. But, that doesn’t mean that we should be pulling for one of our competing quarterbacks to fail.

Here is what I have to say on that: Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

What do I mean? First of all, it is nice to be excited about a quarterback with a great arm. Again, we are all aware of the recent quarterback issues. But, we need to be careful not to anoint a guy the next Dan Marino, based on a few throws on the practice field. Let’s not go insisting that he is the starter now, based on four days of practice, it’s silly.

Remember first, he hasn’t played in a game yet. It’s very nice that Geno has made a connection with Stephen Hill and others, but it is on the practice field. We all know that playing in a game is very different. The speed is different, and facing an opponent is always different. Is it possible that we wait until we see Geno complete a pass against someone wearing a different color jersey, before we anoint him the week 1 starter? Is that too much to ask?

Same thing for Mark by the way. Don’t think I am trying to say we should name Mark the starter now, because I am not. I am just saying let’s not jump the gun.

Also remember, the preseason isn’t always an indicator of very much. Yes, it is all we have in evaluating quarterbacks for the season, but it still can be misleading. I have mentioned this stat before, but it is worth repeating, Mark Sanchez completed nearly 70% of his passes during the preseason. How did that work out for us? I think we can unanimously agree to the answer, not too well.

Again, the speed of the game is different. The regular season is a few degrees faster than the preseason. The defenses are just getting into shape, and are holding back their more creative schemes. They don’t want everything they do to be on film, so they run basic sets. Therefore, things will be unveiled during week one that Geno will have never seen before. Add that to being a rookie quarterback in the NFL, and the odds for success initially drop significantly.

Finally, look at the odds of rookie success anyway. Yes, the big three from last season, RGIII, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson were great. But, that is not the norm. Peyton Manning finished his rookie season with a 3-13 record. John Elway was 5-7 in games he participated in as a rookie. In 1980, Joe Montana’s first significant playing time, he went 6-10.

Be careful what you wish for, Jets’ fans, because you just might get it. It’s OK to rebuild with a new QB, but if anyone expects us to just take off by putting Geno in as the starter, you need to be realistic. Sure it could happen. But to be so sure that there will be drastic change…come on now. The odds are just not in favor. The odds are more in favor of Geno slipping up in the regular season and him getting booed like Mark.

Tags: Geno Smith Jets Qb Competition New York Jets

  • Yoshi

    As a fan I’m looking forward to Geno not cause I expect well win more but cause I’m hoping hell have less butt-fumbles

    • TheJetPress

      Understandable sentiment.

  • matr dontelli iii

    we should be rooting for both qbs to play well and make it a tough decision for the coaches and staff. there’s no point in hoping someone wins ’cause the other plays bad. the best situation is markie wins the competition and plays well through the first half of the season while we win more than half of our games. meanwhile geno should be improving in practice weekly. ideally by the bye week we’ll be ready to send the media into a frenzy by announcing that geno has been lighting it up in practice and we wanna see how he does in game situations. holy crap, can you imagine toupee meyers column? he’ll have rex being fired by halftime of the next game. the post will be running pictures of rex’s wife with a bozo tattoo on his arm. manish mehta’s head will explode and, while on that subject what ever happened with him getting off the jet beat? just askin’. once the dust settles on the circus geno becomes the starter and we march into the playoffs. in the offseason we can move markie for a mid-round draft choice, or not if he wants to stay as the backup. and rex can improve on his record of more playoff victories than belichek and adams. imagine…

    • TheJetPress

      Love your scenario Matr, I agree it would be the best scenario. Good point about Manish…I was thinking about that the other day, that he was supposed to be out the door. On the other hand, we don’t want Seth Walder taking over either, he’s not a nice guy.

  • Frank Antonelli

    Mark was NOT great in the per-season last year. Yes he completed almost 70% of his passes (68.6) but his QB Rating was an abysmal 59.6! There is truly something to get excited about in Geno since he is getting praised by some of his team mates. The fact that he is doing well so early is an encouraging sign and I really can’t envision a scenario where he would perform worse than what Mark was able to do last year. The fact that he has not thrown an interception yet is quite encouraging especially when contrasting that with the weak armed interception machine that Mark has turned out to be. So yes let’s definitely wait and see what Geno becomes but the early returns are encouraging.

    • TheJetPress

      definitely encouraging frank I agree….I had forgotten that mark’s qbr in the preseason was so low…we will see how it goes

  • Paul Newbold

    I’d just like to see Sanchez play well enough to find a trade partner for him at season’s end! If he plays half decent, we might find a sucker who needs a back up and is willing to let go a mid rounder. Better then cutting him!

    • TheJetPress

      It’s possible, although it might not be better than cutting him, uness whomever they trade with picks up some of that guaranteed money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.willie.509 Joe Willie

    Sanchez led the Jets to zero Tds last preseason—lets see how this preseason pans out. In my book Tds scored are the most important QB stat.

    • TheJetPress

      I agree that the TDs are important. We just need to let it play out like you said.

  • maafla1

    The Jets are almost certainly NOT a playoff team BUT….the defense just might keep the Jets competitive all year. 6-10 or 7-9 and the Jets are in EVERY game this year, the culprit being a lack of firepower on offense? I’ll take it. Honestly, the roster in 2009 wasn’t light years better than the current crop and we know where that year ended.

    • TheJetPress

      exactly right…all of these teams are so close, really anything can happen.