Geno Smith hits the bright lights of the Gotham stage on Sunday afternoon for his regular season debut. Yesterday, in case you missed it, although I don’t see how, Rex Ryan announced that Geno Smith will start Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.
There is a lot of talk about whether this marks the end of the Mark Sanchez era, and the beginning of the Geno Smith era. Conventional wisdom is that the Jets cannot go back to Mark Sanchez at this point, that it would be too much of a step backwards. Here is what coach Ryan had to say about whether or not Smith is the permanent starter:
Our focus is strictly on this game, so whether week-to-week, I don’t know, what the heck. We’re not looking past Tampa Bay, I can tell you that much. This whole team is not thinking past Tampa. We have a big challenge in front of us. We understand that and that’s where the focus is. In any long-term plan, any of this, any of that, we’re not thinking about it. We’re thinking about Tampa Bay only, and that’s it.
He was asked again, and here is what he said:
The only thing that I’m going to say is our focus is strictly on Tampa Bay and our starting quarterback is Geno Smith. That’s all I’m going to get into it because that’s the truth. Every bit of focus, I understand we have a game (on) Thursday after (this game), but our focus is (on) Tampa Bay. We owe it to ourselves, our fans and everything else to put everything we can into this game, and that’s exactly where our attention is going to be.
Is this spin? Probably. The odds of going back to Mark are pretty slim. They are still holding that line, of a continued open competition, aren’t they?