The QB position; probably the most difficult position in any sport in the history of sports. The cliché saying “too much praise when the team wins and too much blame when they struggle” holds true more so today than ever before but even more so when there’s a struggling rookie QB at the helm. Case in point; Jets rookie QB Geno Smith. So far this season Geno has tossed 8 TDs 16 INTs on the season. His passer rating for the first five games was 80.3, but for his last five games, a painful 48.0. Along with that anemic passer rating the past five games, Geno has also thrown one TD, and eight INTs to go along with two rush TDs. It hasn’t been pretty.
It’s safe to say, the Jets, a team many if not all deemed the “worst” in the league coming into the season has essentially exceeded expectations thus forcing the spotlight to shine even more brightly on the team with every expectation exceeded thus far into the season. After announcing Geno Smith the starting QB the Jets were in evaluation mode for every game he was slated to start and for the looks of it, he will start all 16 games for the Jets this season so the evaluation continues.
Lets take a look at Geno’s numbers the past five games and specifically looking at his performance versus the Bills last weekend:
8/23, 103 yards and 3 INTs …… – Bills
8/19, 115 yards 0 TDs 0 INTs - Saints
20/30, 159 yards 2 INTs , 1 rush TD – Bengals
17/33 233 1 TD 1 INT, 1 rush TD – Pats
Looking at those numbers, there’s no blaming Jets fans for calling for change, even if its out of frustration and emotion but Jets fans must realize, myself included. as hard as it is to watch Geno struggle and as bad as he looks at times, the overall goal with Geno is to have a full season to adequately evaluate Geno and to determine what direction regarding the QB position the Jets need to head in this next offseason. That’s the thing, that’s the ONLY thing this team, this fan base need to be focused on and looking towards right now. Easier said than done when your team is getting blown out by division rivals, yes I know but this is it, this is how the process works and I applaud Rex Ryan and John Idzik’s approach to the situation and QB position thus far. Jets needed a QB coming into the season, John Idzik took the “best ” QB prospect on the board, that alone shows Idzik isn’t oblivious to what is going on with the Jets QB position and that should instill some sort of confidence within Jets fans that Idzik sees the same thing you see and will approach the offseason accordingly if it continues in a downward spiral.
Geno Smith has all the tools to be a successful QB for the Jets, probably even very good but it will take patience, learning and coaching.
When I reviewed the Bills film, as with all of the Jets film this season, the thing that stands out about Geno is that accuracy isn’t an issue for him. That’s the good news. The bad news is; decision-making IS an issue for him but that’s something that’s coachable and fixable but Geno has to be able to learn what he needs to in order to become a better decision maker. All of the positive sound bites and taking responsibility for poor play means nothing and is irrelevant if the player isn’t actually learning from his mistakes. The issue I see with Geno is that I can’t say that I see that he’s learning anything thus far or getting better. That’s not to say that he isn’t or won’t, just that I can’t defend him emphatically and say that he is. Geno MUST get better fast and must show more these last 6 games of the season but there needs to be a clear understanding of whats ultimately important with Geno right now and that’s getting a full body of work to fairly and adequately evaluate him on at season’s end and as painful as that may be right now, it IS the right move for the Jets.