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Breaking down unique quarterback situation

Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) attempts a pass to wide receiver T.J. Graham (10) during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) attempts a pass to wide receiver T.J. Graham (10) during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets once again have a interesting quarterback situation on their hands. Will they be able to be competitive with a familiar face back under center?

The New York Jets are in a quarterback quandary.  Their high performance quarterback wants more money than he deserves, even after the season he had.  They have two inexperienced quarterbacks who aren’t ready, and their other quarterback hasn’t really been given an opportunity with a team like they have now, and his performance earlier in his career could be indicative of that.

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Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is demanding way too much money. The Jets aren’t run the way the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans were the last time Fitzpatrick was a free agent, and while they want to re-sign him, they aren’t going to overpay for a journeyman quarterback who happened to have the best season of his career last season. They shouldn’t either.

When it comes to quarterback Geno Smith, some people have forgotten that he went 8-8 as a rookie, and while he took a huge step back in his second season, it was just his second season.  Colin Cowherd said this on his daily radio show, “Denver winning the Super Bowl proved you can win the Super Bowl with a great defense and be almost below average at quarterback.”  Later on he discussed the his opinion on the Jets thinking, “‘He (Fitzpatrick) isn’t significantly better than Geno Smith.’  If Geno Smith comes back 20% better than he was, he is Ryan Fitzpatrick.”  He’s right.

Sure, the league caught up to Smith, and took advantages of his weaknesses in 2014, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be better now than he was in 2014, especially after a year leaning on the bench.  So before writing the season off as completely lost if Smith starts, let’s give him a chance to prove himself.

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With that being said, if the Jets have to go to Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty in 2016, they’re in trouble.

Petty isn’t ready for the big time, and Hackenberg was erratic in his sophomore and junior seasons at Penn State and needs a lot of work.

The Jets see some potential in Hackenberg, general manager Mike Maccagnan has shown to be trustworthy so far.

So, if he sees something, it’s worth it.  Maccagnan also seems to be following the philosophy of drafting a quarterback until one sticks, but it is only a two-year sample size so far.

Before Jets fans get read to jump out the window and prepare for disappointment, they should take two things into account when it comes to Smith.  The first thing is that he was expected to be a project quarterback coming out of West Virginia, and he was a second round pick.

The second thing is that offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is a coaching savant.  He knows how to use the talents of his offensive players and get good things out of them.  If he can get a 10-6 season out Fitzpatrick who was 33-55-1 going into the season and also get 31 touchdowns out of him, then he can get the same out of Smith who has more talent than Fitzpatrick.

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It is plausible that Smith has grown and matured over the last season.  If Fitzpatrick doesn’t re-sign, give Smith a chance to prove he’s bad with this team before judging him.

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