Geno Smith to Go Into Early Workouts as First String Quarterback


Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Geno Smith

(7) tosses the football against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the signing of Michael Vick, many have taken their turn to put in their two cents about who should start at quarterback for the Jets when the new season opens. LeSean McCoy went so far to basically say that there shouldn’t even be a competition, based on how much better Vick is than Geno Smith.

It’s irrelevant, but it is what he said.

Jets’ Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is taking the more appropriate, conservative approach when asked about the situation. As he should be, Geno Smith looks to be the first man up as the competition begins:

“We brought Mike in to compete, to push Geno, and to make Geno the very best he can make him and I want to make sure Mike was ready for that,” Mornhinweg said during a Tuesday conference call. “I had Mike for a year with Donovan (McNabb) there (in Philadelphia). I think this thing is going to work beautifully.”

Thanks to especially the last four games, Marty is happy with how the process is going with Smith:

“One thing I want to make sure of (is) that nothing impedes the young quarterback’s progression,” Mornhinweg said. “I’m talking about Geno. He progressed beautifully in the last quarter of the season. (He) played winning quarterback, played at a high level, two turnovers in the last four games. So you got to give him a lot of credit now.”

He wouldn’t admit that Smith starts the camp with the job, saying only that Smith will get “a few more reps” than Michael Vick, but not many.

Whether or not the Jets admit this, having Geno start the off-season with the number one status is the way to go.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to protect Geno again, the way they protected Mark for all of these years. Far from it. John Idzik has made his point, that competition is healthy, and that the team will be all the better for it.

That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t go into training camp with players at specific levels on the depth chart. Geno Smith earned that in the fourth quarter of the 2013 season. He finally protected the football like he was supposed to, and gave a lot of doubters some hope. Was it enough to guarantee him the job? No. Was it enough that he should start camp as the starter? Absolutely.

It’s also in the best interest of the John Idzik legacy for the Geno Smith draft choice to work. Bringing in another QB right after the Tebow disaster took guts. If that were to turn out not to work, it won’t look to favorable for Idzik and the Jets. When a general manager makes a choice of a quarterback to be the face of the team, it’s in his best interest that it works out.

The result will not be good in the long-term if Michael Vick wins the job. It will make an exciting 2014, but the growth of the team will be stunted. We want to see Smith keep this job.