New York Jets: Rex Ryan Unsure if Geno Smith Gives Team Best Chance to Win


There has been a lot of talk about the game plan from Monday night. Rex Ryan and company authored a game plan that all but pretended there wasn’t a quarterback on the field. The Jets established the run, but never established ANYTHING in the passing game. Ultimately, Geno Smith threw the ball 13 times, and it was only eight times before the final drive. Rex Ryan, despite what he says now, had no trust in Geno Smith. That is obvious.

Many felt that coach Ryan was making a statement. Based on the premise that Ryan was overruled by John Idzik and forced to start Geno Smith, this was Ryan saying that Idzik could force him to play Smith, but couldn’t force him to USE Smith. It’s hard to fathom given Ryan’s competitive spirit, but based on the evidence, it’s not impossible. We don’t know what goes on in someone else’s head.

But we may have gotten an insight yesterday, when coach Ryan met with the media for his day after the game press conference. Coach was asked if Geno Smith gave them the best chance to win. Take a look at what he had to say:

Well, I don’t know about that. I have said all along that I feel good, that we could win with either Mike Vick at quarterback or Geno Smith and I have always said that. Geno Smith wouldn’t be in there if we didn’t think we had an opportunity to win. I can promise you that. And the same thing when Mike Vick was in. That is how we look at it. I have seen everybody questioning what we did offensively, but we never went into the game thinking we were only going to throw it like 13 times or whatever.

We went in trying to establish the run and we thought that gave us the best opportunity to be successful as a football team, not just moving the ball on offense, but trying to win the game collectively. Quite honestly, if we had made two field goals, and we don’t get sacked out of another one, we probably aren’t having (this) conversation. We are probably talking about how we did a great job in two phases of the game and really three phases, but of course that is not what we’re talking about today because we lost the game.

Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks off the field after the fourth quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 16-13. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“I don’t know about that”. This is the same Rex Ryan that has always said he would play the quarterback that gives the Jets the best chance to win. Now he isn’t sure? If that doesn’t give us evidence that he is not behind the move back to Smith, I don’t know what is.

Ryan became very adept at avoiding an answer both about not using play-action more, and whether Geno can make the right decisions under pressure. First on the use of play-action:

No, again I get where you are coming from. There is no question I get where you are coming from on that because you are 100 percent right. When you are able to run the football it does open up things in the passing game. However, I think when you look at the big picture, where some of those things were. We are trying to prevent, we are struggling, obviously with our punt protection, we are trying to make sure we get it off our line. A couple of those situations, that was the thing that kind of determined what we were going to do there. This team can really get after the quarterback. When you get behind the sticks on them, that’s what they’re built to do and that’s what they have done a great job of this season. So, I get being second guessed on some of the things we are doing and the reason we are second guessed is because we lost the game and I get that.

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Here is what coach Ryan said about Geno and making pressure decisions:

Yeah. But, I’ll say this, it’s a difficult thing to do for any quarterback, when you’re (facing) a team that can rush the passer the way they can. I felt we were in control of that football game. I don’t think there was any doubt. I remember going to Marty (Mornhinweg), I’m like, ‘Look Marty, I feel good about keeping these guys out of the end zone.’ And we had that discussion and that wasn’t the case. They end up finding a way to knock the ball in and obviously, that hurt us, it tied the game. If we could’ve prevented it, that would’ve been great. That was the only time I didn’t feel that we were in complete control of that game because up until that point I really thought we were.

See? He never really answered either question, moving off topic quickly. I don’t think it is a coincidence. If coach Ryan doesn’t feel that the quarterback gives them the best chance to win, he shouldn’t be on the field. That is, unless it isn’t your decision.

It is just more evidence that the whole thing is going to be torn down at the end of the season. There is no choice now, as much as I like Rex Ryan as a coach.