As the New York Jets get ready to go back to quarterback Geno Smith under center, here are the top five reasons why it’ll work just fine for now.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) leaves the field following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Fans of the New York Jets are down and the players aren’t acting like a team and there is nothing encouraging about the latest media coverage announcing Geno Smith the starting quarterback this week. But meanwhile, we hear about Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson’s locker dispute.
Players are turning a serious situation into a joke. Marshall stated to reporters via the Media Relations Department, “Boat down”. After stating earlier in the season he’s going down in the boat with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s not a joking matter, especially if you’re a Jets fan.
Nobody is addressing this situation correctly. Jets Nation has almost given up hope at this point in the season. In all hopes of changing the moral of fans across the world, I have decided to go against the majority and leave all the Smith slander behind.
Yes, Smith isn’t the answer for the Jets but, is it really a terrible thing to give him a shot? No! The Jets have now lost four consecutive games and somethings got to give. Third-string quarterback Bryce Petty is still healing after a preseason injury, so at this point, he’s not an option now.
With that said, it’s only fair the Jets give Smith an opportunity after Fitzpatrick has failed to lead the team these past weeks. It’s really not that bad! After analyzing Smith and Fitzpatrick, I have identified five reasons why starting Smith could work; maybe not for the rest of the season, but at least until Petty is 100 percent.
At the end of the day you either love Smith or you hate him but, you’re a Jets fan. You bleed green and support the team you love season after season. So let’s not focus on the negatives and let’s concentrate on the positives. Without further ado, here are the top five reasons Smith could work at starting quarterback.
Next: 5. Oh where oh where has Fitzpatrick gone?
Jun 14, 2016; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) watches New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) during OTA at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
5. OTA and Training Camp
Since the end of last season, Smith has worked on his craft. He attended voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTA) and worked with his teammates to improve his skills.
OTA’s are the foundation of the season. It’s players who care enough to work out and continue to improve not only for themselves but for their team and the organization. OTA’s also help training camp to run smoother because players aren’t just thrown into football.
Once OTA’s were over, Smith continued his workouts and conditioning in training camp as the Jets starting quarterback. He took what he learned in OTA’s and was able to apply everything during camp with players like Eric Decker and Marshall.
Fitzpatrick was signed at the end of July. He didn’t do anything during his time off. No OTA’s, and he missed training camp. He missed the foundation and fundamental sessions. Rusty is an understatement; he didn’t pick up a football for almost seven months. Maybe instead of the obnoxious contract debate, he should have practiced!
Smith has prepared for this moment since the end of last season. His post and preseason training are more than Fitzpatrick has participated in this year, and offers him one up on Fitzpatrick.
Next: 4. Where did all of the trust and support go?
4. In Geno We Trust?
During the entire off-season and training camp, the players, organization and coaches were supporting Smith as starting quarterback. Players rallied behind him and told the press they have seen great improvements, he’s become a part of the team in the locker room and he’s really put effort into perfecting his skills.
What happened? Where did all the confidence and support go? Smith has only played one quarter this season; why did everyone suddenly forget the Smith from two months ago?
If we rewind to the beginning of training camp, Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com stated, “To say Geno Smith had a good practice Monday would be an understatement. A very, very big understatement.” During that practice, Smith completed 16-of-19 passes and had six touchdowns.
Then a few days ago, Lorenzo Reyes of USA TODAY stated, “The other – and more pressing – issue is that starting Geno Smith over Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t solve a leaky defense that opposing defenses have embarrassed.”
Yes, the Jets are used to having a strong defense but, what does that have to do with our offense? Nothing! If our offense was able to get down the field, increase their red zone completions and score touchdowns it would take a little pressure off of our defense. Our lacking defense isn’t a valid enough reason to say Smith won’t “pull Jets out of the tailspin.”
Next: 3. Statistics don't lie
Jul 28, 2016; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) passes in front of quarterback Geno Smith (7) during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aside from Fitzpatrick’s career high yards and touchdowns last year, Smith isn’t far off from his statistics. In 2014, Fitzpatrick finished the season with 15 interceptions compared to Smith’s 13 the year before. Which is also a huge improvement from Smith’s 21 in 2013.
On average Smith threw a little under one interception per game in 2014 and Fitzpatrick threw about the same in 2015. If we compare that to this season’s statistics, Fitzpatrick is averaging 1.8 interceptions a game.
In 2014, Smith completed almost 60 percent of his passes. As of now, Fitzpatrick is only completing about 57 percent. As for touchdowns, Smith’s percentage was 3.5 in 2014 and now Fitzpatrick is at about 2.2.
Let the statistics speak for themselves; they don’t lie! On paper Smith looks like the better option of the two.
Next: 2. This season is an audition
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
2. Contract Year
This is the last year of Smith’s four-year rookie contract. We can assume Smith isn’t included in the Jets five-year plan however, we all knows what happens when we assume. However, if we go with that notion, there is no way any team is going to sign Smith now.
This is his audition for future employment. He needs to show everyone he really has improved and changed. Smith needs to focus on the ball, the field, and his teammates. This isn’t the year to think and learn, it’s the year to do.
Everything he has worked for his whole life and in the offseason comes down to this week’s game. Petty has been brought up in conversations, and it’s expected he will make a return in a couple of weeks.
It’s now or never! He only has a few weeks to show his worth and value before he becomes the next Tim Tebow. Not only will Smith be coming back with a vengeance after losing his starting role but, he’s coming back to prove all the critics wrong.
Next: 1. It's a beautiful relationship
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (83) scores a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
1. A New Generation
The debate about Smith, in the beginning, was that he never got to play with receivers like Marshall and Eric Decker. Although Decker is on injured reserve, here’s his opportunity to throw to Marshall.
Rookie receiver Jalin Marshall fell short to injury as well, but did return in Week 6 but, hadn’t had a ton of opportunities to practice with Fitzpatrick due to his injury and because Smith was the quarterback during the offseason and training camp.
These are the players Smith worked with during OTA’s and training camp. He is the quarterback these players will look to as their leader, not Fitzpatrick. Smith built a relationship with them and has been the guy throwing them passes from day one.
Fitzpatrick wasn’t getting the job done, and with these players getting an opportunity to play, it only makes sense that they let Smith start. Smith’s relationship with these players, will only benefit the offense; it really can’t get worse. And, if all else fails; no expectations equal no disappointments.