Geno Smith Officially Named New York Jets' Starting QB over Mark Sanchez
UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 4
Here's a video debating whether Geno Smith, E.J. Manuel or Terrelle Pryor will have the better season:
Eric Allen of the team's official website passed along a statement from Ryan:
We're going to go with Geno Smith as our quarterback and we are excited about that.
Learning Marty's system, [Smith] really did a tremendous job, as did all the quarterbacks. I think he really fits the system. He's a guy who is very accurate with the football, he has good mobility in the pocket and he's adjusting to the speed of the game.
Smith didn't play well during the preseason. The second-round pick threw three interceptions in fewer than 40 attempts and finished with a quarterback rating under 55, which is well below average. It's clear his transition to the NFL level has been a struggle so far.
However, the Jets didn't have much choice but to name him as the starter despite those early issues. Mark Sanchez is dealing with a shoulder injury, which hindered his ability to get ready for Week 1, and the other options are less than ideal.
Matt Simms had a strong preseason for New York, but most of his reps came in the final exhibition game. Even though it was enough for the Tennessee product to remain on the roster, at least for now, starting him over a highly touted rookie like Smith would have sent a very strong message.
The only other quarterback on the roster is Brady Quinn, whom the Jets signed earlier in the week. He was brought in as more of an insurance policy given Sanchez's injury situation, though, rather than as a contender for the starting spot.
So Smith gets the nod. He's going to gain valuable experience against an improved Bucs defense, but expectations should be limited at the outset. He put up big numbers at West Virginia, but it's a sizable jump from college to NFL defenses.
The most important thing for him is simply getting reps. He struggled with the speed of the game during the preseason, and the only way for him to adapt is with playing time. The Jets just have to hope the signs of progress start coming quickly.
How the team will handle the quarterback situation over the course of the season is very much up in the air, especially if Smith continues to struggle. As mentioned, New York has other options, but none of them are overly appealing.
In the end, Smith gets the start in Week 1, and the Jets will just have to hope he establishes himself as the quarterback of the future so the problem can solve itself.
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