Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Jets 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
As the New York Jets prepare to have quarterback Geno Smith be their starter this upcoming season, fans have some crazy reasons to doubt his ability to get the job done.
It looks more and more like Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets in 2016. Fans are unhappy and many are ready to declare the season dead if Smith is the starter.
It’s an unfortunate situation, because quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick gave us one of the best seasons in recent years. However, it was also the best season of his career.
There have been some ridiculous reasons why Smith can’t be successful with this team and thus shouldn’t start. Here are some of the most ridiculous that once again, aren’t valid in the grand scheme of things.
Next: 5. Overreaction to Fitzpatrick's big season
5. Overreaction to Fitzpatrick’s big season
It was an exciting playoff run. The Jets went into Orchard Park in Week 17, with a win-and-you’re-in scenario to get the AFC’s last Wild Card spot. Unfortunately they lost and didn’t make the playoffs.
It was Fitzpatrick’s best season of his career. He finished 10-6 with 3,905 yards (second in franchise history) and 31 touchdowns (franchise record).
He also had 15 interceptions. Ten of which came in a four-game sample in which all four of the games had multiple interceptions, and the Jets lost all of those games by one touchdown or less.
He went into the season 33-55-1 with zero seasons at .500 or better, and despite a poor coaching staff leading him, Smith was 8-8 in his rookie season. There’s no history of Fitzpatrick being able to back up his great season from 2015, only a history of futility, and if he doesn’t re-sign, Smith will be able to succeed with this coaching staff and better team around him.
Next: 4. Smith is too immature
Jun 14, 2016; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) during OTA at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
4. Smith is too immature
When Smith got punched in the jaw by IK Enemkpali over $600 last season, it was definitely a sign of immaturity. It was stupid at best, because he should’ve just paid up.
"“Everything he’s shown me, the erratic behavior, the mouthing off to a fan, to missing the meeting, to playing horribly in San Diego on Sunday, sitting on the sideline with a towel draped over his head – all of that shows me that he’s not mentally ready for this. When erratic behavior starts to affect your performance on the field, then I think it’s time to sit down.”"
He had plenty of time to take Boomer’s advice. He only played in one game last season, and the fact he didn’t play could’ve humbled him.
Until he’s given a chance, we don’t know if he learned from his actions when he was 22 and 23 years old. Many of us were immature at that age, and we shouldn’t expect different things from pro athletes.
Next: 3. Smith's ego is too big
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) and New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) warmup for their game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
3. Smith’s ego is too big
Honestly, this wasn’t an issue until it was brought to my attention recently. In an article written by Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, here are Smith’s expectations on being a starter:
"“I guess if you’re saying I don’t have an opportunity here, I don’t believe that.”"
Some people may attribute that to immaturity and some his ego. It’s a good thing that he believes he will start.
Fans and the media alike would destroy him if he thought otherwise. So, he can’t really win, but Smith needs to have confidence.
Next: 2. His own teammates don't respect him
Dec 19, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
2. His own teammates don’t respect him
Some fans think the team hates Smith, but at least in the mind of a prominent teammate, there’s a lot of respect for the way that he handled things last season. In an article written by George Willis for the New York Post, here is what wide receiver Brandon Marshall said back in November:
"“It’s been a long offseason for him, listening to all the noise. It was a tough camp for obvious reasons. For him to come in and fight through it, I’m proud of the kid.”"
Marshall is trustworthy in his comments. Even though it appears that he wants Fitzpatrick back, that doesn’t mean he won’t back Smith.
In a locker room with 53 players, everyone won’t like everyone. However, if you garner the respect of one of the most prominent players in the locker room, that’s a great sign of better things to come.
Next: 1. Smith throws too many interceptions
Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts after throwing an interception against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
1. Smith throws too many interceptions
When it comes to specifically on the field statistics, and not his personality, fans look at his interceptions. Smith started in 29 games in his first two seasons, and he had 34 interceptions in those games.
He’s a young guy learning how to play in this league, and mistakes should be expected. It seems like many people think he can’t turn things around, even though he went from throwing 21 interceptions in 2013 to 13 interceptions in 2014, and his an INT% (percentage of attempts intercepted) went from 4.7% to 3.5%.
The idea that he can’t turn things around is ridiculous. Also, 28 quarterbacks have won the Super Bowl with 13 of them had as many interceptions that Smith did in the first two season in which they started at least 75% of their team’s games.
Of those 13, nine appeared in multiple Super Bowls and five of those nine won multiple Super Bowls. Bob Griese, who had the same number as Smith, also won two Super Bowls in a row and appeared in three straight and he’s one of two quarterbacks to appear in as many as three in a row:
Don’t dismiss his ability simply because of interceptions. He can and will turn things around this upcoming season.