Chan Gailey, offensive coordinator of the New York Jets, told reporters on May 20th that there is no quarterback competition on the team right now and that Geno Smith is expected to enter the season as the starter for the team. From the outside looking in it looks like the Jets want to give Smith another shot at earning the starting position for the team and becoming the face of the franchise.
We have seen games where Smith has looked completely unreal and punished defenses, we have also seen games where it looks as though he is aiming more for the defensive backs than the wide receivers. Let’s look at all the options on the roster currently and see if Gailey is making the right decision, or a costly error that could trash the season from the start.
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Ryan Fitzpatrick has had plenty of opportunity in the NFL to solidify himself as a starter. He has not done that yet after 10 years in the league. The Jets acquired Fitzpatrick via trade with the Houston Texans earlier in the off-season.
Yes Fitzpatrick may be more consistent than Smith has been in the past, but Smith has a much higher ceiling than Fitzpatrick. The journeyman quarterback is a backup at best and shouldn’t be relied on to bring the Jets back to contention in the AFC East.
Currently third on the depth chart, Matt Simms is a very interesting possibility at the quarterback position. I don’t think we have seen enough of Simms to make an accurate assessment of what he could possibly do on the field for the Jets. However, the Jets coaching staff has seen him on the practice field and even when Smith and former quarterback Michael Vick were both playing horribly, Simms only saw the field in four different games over the course of two years.
In those four games, Simms has only thrown 39 total pass attempts for 195 total yards, one touchdown and has roughly a 48% completion percentage. I think it’s safe to say Simms is not the answer for the Jets.
Now onto my favorite possibility for quarterback for the upcoming season, Bryce Petty. I believe Petty out of Baylor was the second most underrated quarterback in the draft this year (I think Justin Arias was the most underrated). Petty was ridiculously good when playing at home his two years starting at Baylor.
May 8, 2015; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) during rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
In 2013, he threw for 403 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only three interceptions all on a 62% completion rate. The following year in 2014 he threw for 428 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions all on a63.1% completion rate.
Obviously the jump from college to the NFL is a big transition and many players can’t make that transition effectively. But there was something about watching Petty play at home that was jaw dropping. That is the kind of play the Jets need on their side if they are to not only make the playoffs again but take back the division from the New England Patriots.
So after looking at all the options, the Jets should stick with Smith for no other reason than they have publicly come out as Smith being the starter going into the season. They have had too many issues with quarterback controversy in the past and that’s the last thing they need right now. But if Smith fails to help the team start off on the right foot they should give some serious thought to the man wearing No. 9 currently riding the pine.