Do the New York Jets Have a Problem with Young Quarterbacks?

Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) goes back to pass against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. New York Jets defeat the New York Giants 24-21 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Sorry for putting that guy up to the right, but it’s to make a point here. I want to talk about the Jets, and the development of young quarterbacks, starting with the guy to the right.

Look back to the beginning of Mark Sanchez’s tenure here in New York. Yes, he did lead us to two AFC title games, you know how I feel about him. But, they also modified game plans to attempt to keep him under control. Remember the red, yellow, and green color-coded system?

Way back then, we all had a lot to say about it. Why not let the kid play, we said. Stop handcuffing Mark Sanchez. We need to know what he can do. He’s going to make his mistakes, but putting in this type of system, making him afraid to be aggressive, is going to hurt his development as a quarterback.

Eventually, well, we know what happened. Mark Sanchez’s play got worse and worse, until everybody wanted him out-of-town. A lot of blame went around. Blame Schottenheimer. Blame Tony Sparano. Blame Matt Cavanaugh. Blame the lack of weapons around Mark Sanchez. Why couldn’t they give him the same set of weapons from year to year? First and foremost, blame Mark Sanchez. We heard all of these things all the time.

Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) runs with the ball in front of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) at M

Fast forward to 2013. Again, a rookie quarterback is in the lineup for the New York Jets. The young man has a big arm, can make some exciting plays when given the chance. But, he has turnover problems. We are talking about Geno Smith of course.

He is at or near the top of the league in turning the football over. So, the gameplan has been scaled back. They have moved him back into more of a conservative scheme. You can certainly debate a bit about how much it is helping. Geno is still turning the ball over. You could argue that they are effectively taking away Geno’s aggressiveness.

Now, the blame starts. Is Marty calling the right game plan? Why are we handcuffing Geno Smith?

Is Geno Smith at the point where he should be doing this every week? What about the weapons? Where are Geno Smith’s weapons?

Does this all sound familiar? It does to me.

It got me thinking. The stories of these two quarterbacks have been so similar. In some ways, they have mirrored each other. For two stories to mimic each other so closely, there has to be something that is a constant for both of these players. When you look at it, there is a guy that has been around for both of these players.

Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks on the field prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M

You all know how I feel about Rex Ryan. I love him as a coach and hope he is here for a long, long time. But, we have to look at it honestly. These two quarterbacks have had such similar problems, and Rex has been the one guy here the entire time. Maybe Rex has more to say on offense than we realize?

If that is the case, it could be killing our QB situation. Obviously, there is no way to know this one for sure, unless we are in the building at Jets’ headquarters. But, looking at the similarities here, it sure is worth discussing.

Topics: Geno Smith, New York Jets, Rex Ryan

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  • phshaw

    I so agree with your speculation. I have come to view Rex as as much a liability to our offense as he is an asset to our defense. That is a bad split for a head coach. The glaring ineptitude on offense for 3 years cannot be ignored. It is abysmal as a fan to sit and watch their display most Sundays.

    • Alan Schechter

      Thanks. I love Rex as a coach actually, but this just hit me as a possibility. We obviously don’t know, but the theory makes sense. Thanks for reading.

  • Paul Newbold

    Most of us here know my opinion of Rex, but to blame him for Sanchez and Geno’s struggles is a bit of a stretch. The similarities between the two QB’s has as much to do in how they were drafted. Sanchez in the first round after playing less then 16 college games and his college coach declaring him “not ready for prime time”. He was a “project” he had fundamental problems and he was “anointed” upon arrival in NY. Geno a second round pick, more experience in college, but far from a pro system. Another project draftee and a ton of expectations placed on his shoulders. To give up on Geno at this point, by comparing him to Sanchez and blaming Rex is merely speculative and unfair. Evaluate Geno after the season, decide Sanchez’s fate, and if need be draft a “top rated” QB, not a “project”. Personally at this point I still think Geno has the tools to make it in this league. Patients isn’t a strong suit with Jet fans…we’ve been through a lot!

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