Geno Smiths tenure with the Jets so far has been a mixed bag to say the least. The young quarterback has shined at times, showing an ability to pick apart zone defenses, look off defenders and stay poised in the pocket, all of which Mark Sanchez struggled to find consistency with. However, the good is heavily overshadowed by all the bad, a total of 20 turnovers and a lack of consistency delivering the ball to his guys in man coverage ( where a lot of the interceptions are coming from), something which Mark Sanchez was not terrible at. The reason Mark was not terrible at this was because his receivers were good enough to create separation downfield, with guys like Braylon Edwards, a healthy Holmes and Dustin Keller. In Genos case the coverage downfield is a lot tighter and the passes need to be delivered with more precision, and in Genos case precision was considered one of his strong suits coming into the draft, so the lack thereof is puzzling.
The other big issue here is the offensive line, when they play well (as is the case in almost every Jets win this season) the rookie plays okay, usually not being asked to do much thanks to big contributions from the running game. However, when they play poorly Geno struggles heavily, losing his poise and patience. As a result he makes bad decisions while trying to force the issue, and this is where you get stat lines like 0 Td’s, 3 int’s and a fumble lost. The lack of talent at receiver is also an issue, with young inexperienced guys, most of which weren’t even on the Jets roster at the beginning of the season.
Though there is a ton of blame to go around, with the offensive line deserving their fair share, these mistakes are unacceptable and need to be cleaned up, which is what Rex Ryan is trying to address with this latest message to Geno. The rookie does deserve leeway since he is a rookie after all, but at some point Jet fans and coaches will need to see tangible signs of improvement, otherwise the harsh atmosphere and pressure of being a quarterback in New York will claim it’s next victim.