Last summer, the New York Jets proclaimed they would have an open and fair competition at quarterback to determine who would be their starting quarterback. They brought in veteran quarterback Michael Vick last offseason to not only mentor Geno Smith but also possibly earn the starting spot through a training camp competition. They also had Matt Simms as an option but he wasn’t able to work his way up past Vick or Smith as he was regulated to a practice squad quarterback.
The Jets and their previous regime purposely gave Smith many more starting team reps while Vick received significantly less reps with the first unit. Needless to say, it was swayed to have the public believe that everything was even in terms of starting team reps but clearly it wasn’t as they wanted Smith to start all along.
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With that decision, not only did Smith regress as a starting quarterback, but he was eventually demoted to backup and when Vick was given the chance to start, due to being unprepared and unfamiliar with the Jets’ offensive playbook, he also completely failed. That’s a big reason why the Jets went 4-12 last season and looked like fools in the process.
Fast forward to today and my goodness, what a difference a new general manager and head coach make. Both Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles have seemingly turned this team around for the better and found significant upgrades on all major weaknesses on the team, including at quarterback.
Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) scrambles with the ball during a game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Now, keep in mind, New York Daily News beat reporter Manish Mehta has reported that Bowles named Smith the starter heading into training camps this summer. It’s basically his job to lose which means that there really won’t be any competition this summer as to who will be the starting quarterback.
Basically both Maccagnan and Bowles are giving Smith a chance to thrive thanks to some new offensive weapons and a veteran quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick to help give him the support he needs to succeed. While the Jets might not have any quarterback competitions this time around, if Smith falters and continues being an interception machine this summer, then nobody can say he wasn’t given at least a fair chance to continue being a starter.
Overall, this might be the best approach for the Jets to take as to what to do with their quarterback situation. Many still believe Smith can get the job done and now with a better supporting cast and new offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey to utilize his strengths on offense, this could finally be the ideal situation Smith can actually be very successful in.