Poll: Why has Geno Smith struggled?

Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) warms up prior to a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) warms up prior to a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to his tenure on the New York Jets, why has quarterback Geno Smith struggled? Is he truly inept or simply a byproduct of a struggling franchise? A fan poll seeks to find an answer.

Here at The Jet Press, we spend hours upon hours researching, writing and editing content about the New York Jets. In large part, we do this because we love the Jets just as much as our readers do.

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Many of us also spend time interacting directly with other fans via this site, social media, Reddit, etc. People who dislike sports, or those who only pay attention to the NFL on Sunday, may (rightfully) call us obsessed.

A benefit to that obsession, however, is that we know what our fellow fans are thinking and talking about. We know what issues dominate the airwaves and discussion boards. One of the debates that seems to be particularly popular and often vitriolic among Jets fans concerns Smith.

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No one can realistically argue that Smith has played well in his first three NFL seasons.

A career line of 27 TD/ 35 INT/57.9 completion % silences that argument rather quickly.

When quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick rode in last season and posted arguably the best season in team history at the position, many imagined that would end the Smith talk.

However, in the midst of Fitzpatrick’s continued holdout, it would seem that Smith has more supporters now than ever.

Through social media and other sites, I have increasingly encountered more and more Jets fans who want Smith to start for the team in 2016.

Beneath that desire lies the belief that Smith was hampered by poor coaching and a lackluster supporting cast. Some fans reason that if Smith had offensive coordinator Chan Gailey to guide his development and wide receiver Brandon Marshall to catch his passes, then he surely would have succeeded.

This debate has been frequently hashed out on this site as well. My colleagues have expressed any number of opinions on Smith, including that he was treated unfairly, that he will never be more than a career backup and even that he may lead the Jets to the playoffs in 2016. And, of course, my thoughts on the matter are well-known.

Rather than just constantly post our own opinions however, we at The Jet Press really want to hear from our fellow fans. As a result, we’ve begun running fan polls and incorporating the results in our columns.

For my latest fan poll, I asked if Smith’s poor numbers resulted from lack of talent or lack of a supporting cast. The results are shown below:

GenoSmithPoll /

Property of Christopher Stephano, used by permission for TheJetPress.com.

While the sample size is small, the results reflect that this remains a controversial issue among Jets fans. More fans blamed Smith’s supporting cast as opposed to Smith himself, but there’s a noteworthy number of fans in each camp.

Additionally, half of the fans surveyed acknowledged the complexity of quarterback development, declaring that they either didn’t know why Smith has struggled or that there were multiple factors at play.

As is almost always the case with quarterbacks on the Jets, there are no easy answers with Smith. On one hand, former head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg aren’t known for their ability to develop quarterbacks. And Smith, like any other quarterback, would surely benefit from having the opportunity to throw to Marshall.

However, Smith’s flaws, namely poor decision-making and a tendency to frequently turn the ball over, are the kind that tend to doom young quarterbacks. Until he shows the Jets otherwise, there’s little reason to suspect that Smith will ever be the answer.

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Agree? Disagree? Want to continue the conversation? Let us know what you think in the comments below. And feel free to follow me on Twitter if you’d like to participate in future fan polls.