New York Jets: Will Geno Smith get his starting job back?


It was certainly an interesting August for the New York Jets as they entered their first training camp under the new leadership regime. All eyes were on the newly upgraded offense especially at the quarterback position. Throughout August, headlines were filled about Geno Smith improving, if he can lead this team and of course if he would stumble straight out of New York after another poor season.

All of these headlines were silenced when in August, head coach Todd Bowles came to a press conference before that day’s practice and told reporters about Smith being involved in a player altercation that resulted in his broken jaw injury.

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Bowles stated that he will be out 6-10 weeks after getting into an altercation with another teammate, who sucker punched him and broke Smith’s jaw. With Smith being out till at least the fourth game of the season, the Jets turned to veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to take on the starting role.

Smith is due to return to the team around Week 4 of the season. This gives Fitzpatrick plenty of time to keep himself in the starting role for the Jets. This brings up the main question, will the Jets give the starting job back to Smith when he returns from injury?

It seems like the true answer to the question can be quite difficult to develop. For the Jets to come down to the conclusion of who deserves to be the starting quarterback of the Jets come Week 4 will be based on many different aspects. One of them is whether Fitzpatrick is showing that he can truly lead this team and possibly get them to the NFL Playoffs.

That being said, Fitzpatrick will have to show that he not only can win but lead the team, in the sense that the wins the Jets accumulate over Weeks 1-3 can not be from last minute pushes that rely on luck. If he can show that he is the one true leader of the team, it will take more than just Smith being healthy for him to get his job back. On the other hand if Fitzpatrick can barely keep the team afloat and is struggling to move the team down the field and to score any points, look for the Jets to move on to recently acquired quarterback Matt Flynn until Smith looks like he is ready to take his job back.

Aug 21, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) attempts to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Another factor that the coaches will have to think about before giving the starting job back to Smith is whether or not he truly is ready to take the field after missing most of training camp (which includes preseason games) and has not practiced since the incident occurred. If Geno seems that he is still rusty from his time off, it will likely lock themselves into one of the two veteran quarterbacks in Fitzpatrick and Flynn until they feel Smith is ready to play successful football.

Regardless of the scenario that this decision comes down to, Bowles and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will have to make sure that the guy they choose after Smith returns and is perceived to be ready to take to the field and win football games.

Worse case scenario is the team is doing as bad as they can possibly do and the Jets will have to go down their quarterback totem pole until Smith is back and ready to play. Best case scenario is Fitzpatrick shows that he can lead the team and win games and continue being a starter. There are so many scenarios that can happen between now and the day Smith comes back that sadly most Jets fans will just have to sit back and watch it unfold before them.

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