At this moment, for the New York Jets, the teams starting quarterback is Geno Smith. With Smith, who has been a turnover machine in his first three years, is there reason to believe Geno can finally be the man for the job?
Geno Smith has given no reason whatsoever in live game action for fans to believe in him. To believe he can win. To believe he can carry a franchise starved for its first Super Bowl since Super Bowl III and a franchise quarterback since Joe Namath.
For the past two years now all we have heard is how Geno Smith is making excellent progress or how Geno has matured.
Except how can we know this? Geno can be a great practice player and have that not translate into a great live-NFL-starting quarterback against a real live defense looking to attack his every weakness (which in his days as a starter has been mostly everything).
However amidst all of this early squander for Geno, the hope and mentor ship that has been provided for him by offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey, (who helped Ryan Fitzpatrick to his best professional season) has most definitely enhanced his learning curve.
In this off season, there has been no Ryan Fitzpatrick due to the on-going drama of his free agency and how much money Fitzpatrick wants and thinks he is deserved. Yes, Fitzpatrick did indeed have a good season, the best of his career, but the game of poker that Fitzpatrick has been playing, trying to get the most money is becoming a tad ridiculous.
Which leads us to: Now Playing QB for the New York Jets No. 7 Geno Smith! (Round 3).
A lot of the talk has been around Geno and if he is given another chance (how can we do that?) could he actually succeed. Has he taken steps to better himself? The physical tools Smith possesses have always been there – he is a big guy – 6’3, 221lbs with a big arm.
The problem has been the turnovers and lack of reads, lack of second option reads in the passing game, which leads to interceptions, confusion and rushing/forcing throws. Smith has never been known for his sound decision making when facing any kind of pressure.
The two worst games of Geno Smith’s career have both come against the Buffalo Bills.
11/17/13: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills: Smith – 8-of-23, 103 passing yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 4 sacks, 2 fumbles. Smith was a rookie, yes, but that stat line is a cause for concern for both Smith and the coaching staff.
10/26/14: New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills: Smith went: 2-of-8, 5 yards passing, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 0 QBR. In a game and year where Smith should have a much better idea and control of the offense, Smith reverted the quarterback position back a couple of decades. Smith was robotic as he frequently stared down receivers, i.e. Percy Harvin, and led to a colossal meltdown at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.
Geno is now entering his fourth NFL season, after only playing in one game last year for the Jets in a relief role. If the strides to better himself within this offense have indeed taken place as the reports around One Jets Drive in Florham Park, N.J. are true, then maybe it is worth a shot to see if Geno has truly progressed at all.
The fan base and media can hear all we want about Smith’s progression and maturity as an NFL quarterback, but for him at this rate, the only thing that can save him and re-establish belief in him, will be his play on the field.
If Geno Smith throws touchdown passes and reduces (and I mean drastically reduces) his turnovers, then maybe we can have a conversation about Smith’s future as a reliable starting quarterback.
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