The New York Jets have a lot of work to do but none more important than making a much-needed quarterback change from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Geno Smith.
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that the New York Jets have a ton of problems to address immediately. From their disaster of a defensive secondary to a lack of overall execution, Gang Green has their work cut out for them.
None are more important than the abysmal play so far this season by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. So far this season, Fitzpatrick has totaled 1,012 passing yards, 86 completions, four touchdowns, and a whopping 10 interceptions.
Needless to say, things aren’t going as envisioned for Fitzpatrick after the Jets went the extra mile to secure him back for at least this season. That $12M/one-year contract is now starting to haunt the Jets so far this year. Don’t worry, though, the Jets have a backup plan that might very well surprise the football world if they finally decide to head in a different direction at quarterback.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why the Jets should highly consider starting quarterback Geno Smith immediately.
Next: 5. Improved play at quarterback right off the bat
5. Improved play at quarterback right off the bat
Surely, anything is better at this point when it comes to the quarterback play of the Jets. Fitzpatrick looks frazzled, defeated, and is trying to do more than what he’s capable of.
He’s been forcing his throws and several times right into double coverage. His massive veteran experience isn’t enough to save the day as he’s been getting rocked now the past two weeks.
The Jets need to stop their blind loyalty to Fitzpatrick since in the grand scheme of things, he’s not getting the job done at all. Smith would bring youth, excitement, and above all else, much better arm strength to hit receiving targets in stride.
Right off the bat, Smith would at least bring more of an upside under center the moment he starts. He would easily play better than anything we’ve seen Fitzpatrick do in the past few weeks.
Next: 4. Change is good
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) hands off to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
4. Change is good
It’s clear that Fitzpatrick isn’t the same quarterback we all grew to love based on last season. We all were excited that he would continue the momentum and also develop the young quarterbacks around him for the future.
Now, Fitzpatrick is part of the problem as to why the Jets are 1-3 so far this season and already on the outside looking in. Change is good since it would bring a much-needed spark to an offense that can’t seem to get anything right.
All throughout the offseason, the quarterback situation of the Jets has been a hot topic. Jets Nation was divided into whether Gang Green should have brought back Fitzpatrick or not. Many wanted to see what Smith could do with better offensive talent and leadership around him.
It’s best the Jets make the change now to quarterback before it’s too late. The Jets can easily go 1-4 after Week 5 and the spiraling decline will continue to plague this team. At least with Smith starting, he would give the Jets’ offense a jolt of life.
Next: 3. Catering to the strengths of Smith
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass before the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
3. Catering to the strengths of Smith
The Jets’ defensive line is filled with some incredible talent that can wreak havoc on opposing teams. While their defensive secondary needs some major work, for the most part, the defense of the Jets will be a strength of the team.
The rushing attack of the Jets, while it has cooled off a bit the past few weeks, could also continue to help keep those chains moving. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey could cater to the strengths of Smith like he’s done with other quarterbacks throughout his career to put him in a position to thrive.
Smith can hit the deep ball, he’s a dual-threat quarterback that can extend plays with his speed, and has had some time off to improve. He’s work hard throughout the offseason to continue honing his craft as a quarterback and also has a few years of starting experience under his belt.
It wouldn’t take much for Gailey to alter his offensive playbook of the Jets and use all of Smith’s strengths to make this offense effective again.
Next: 2. Time away from the spotlight
Sep 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith throws the ball prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
2. Time away from the spotlight
Since 2015, Smith has been a hot topic of conversation due to his antics on and off the field. From his altercation in 2015 with a teammate that left him with a broken jaw to missing a team meeting due to being at the movies, Smith has shown his young age.
Time heals all and well, he’s had over a year away from the spotlight. He’s been able to take a step back, assess everything, and most importantly, learn. Fitzpatrick put up one of the greatest seasons ever by a quarterback on the Jets in 2015 and Smith had a front row seat to study that incredible success.
Fitzpatrick also undoubtedly helped develop him as a quarterback which could only bode well for Smith’s future. One can’t put a price on being mentored, especially if it helps correct your own turnover issues.
Of course, now that Fitzpatrick is causing unnecessary turnovers, similar to what Smith did when he was a starting quarterback, it’s time the Jets see what Smith has learned so far. Starting him now at least gives the Jets some hope that he has put everything together to execute a decent game of football from under center.
Next: 1. The possibility of being great
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
1. The possibility of being great
It’s no secret that Smith, ever since being selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, has gotten the short end of the stick by the Jets. Their terrible history of developing future franchise quarterbacks is laughable as he was thrown into a starting position prematurely.
It’s a great sight to see that thanks to the new leadership regime of the Jets, they’re at least developing quarterbacks the right way. Both Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are being trained well by the Jets but it would have been interesting to see if the previous regime would have taken the same approach with Smith.
The possibility now, however, of Smith being great, is very well a reality. Smith played with sub-par talent around him throughout his career with the Jets and well, if they handed him the keys to this offense, could very well deliver huge results.
Overall, the Jets need to start Smith to at least see if he can finally live up to his potential. Not only is Fitzpatrick playing his way out of the city that never sleeps, but at least with Smith, it gives them an option to at least have a shot at winning more football games this season. He can’t play any worse than Fitzpatrick at this point in time.