Why the New York Jets Need to Stick with Geno Smith as Starter

Zach GewelbCorrespondent IIOctober 4, 2013

Geno Smith has had a rocky start to his rookie season.
Geno Smith has had a rocky start to his rookie season.Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The New York Jets need to stick with Geno Smith as their starting quarterback heading into their Week 4 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night.

Despite his poor performance in the Jets’ 38-13 loss against the Tennessee Titans, Smith remains the quarterback of the future in New York.

As George Willis of the New York Post wrote, head coach Rex Ryan will not be benching Smith anytime soon.

Though insisting Smith must "do a much better job," Ryan gave no indication he’s thinking of benching Smith should the second-round draft pick duplicate Sunday’s disaster, when his two interceptions and two fumbles handed the Titans 28 points in their 38-13 victory over the Jets.

Geno remains New York’s best option at the quarterback position despite his recent struggles. He has proven that he has big-play ability, which is why he was, at one point, considered by Andy Reid and the Chiefs for the first overall pick.

In two New York wins this season, Smith has produced big plays to help lead the Jets to victory. In the Week 3 matchup against Buffalo, Smith recorded five passes of 20 or more yards, which has been refreshing to see after watching Mark Sanchez run the offense since 2009.

Smith has proven he can make plays. He found Santonio Holmes on a 69-yard pass for a touchdown against Buffalo. While Holmes made a terrific catch, Smith’s throw was right on target and fell right into Holmes’ hands.

Smith also hit Stephen Hill for a 51-yard touchdown against Buffalo. Geno stood in the pocket knowing he was going to get hit hard and still managed to hit a wide-open Hill down the field for the touchdown.

These two plays alone show why Smith should remain the starter. He adds a wrinkle to New York’s offense that they haven’t seen in a long time. He will make his fair share of mistakes, but not every quarterback can be as efficient as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were as rookies last season.

Geno's big play ability fits in well with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's system. His ability to escape the pocket has also helped extend plays, although he needs to do a better job at holding on to the football, which he failed to do against Tennessee.

If Smith can continue to make good plays, all he needs to do to secure his job is be more careful with the ball. Geno acknowledged his mistakes and apologized to his defense, as Jane McManus of ESPN.com reported:

I felt I owed the defense an apology, Smith said. They worked their butts off to be one of the best in the league and they pride themselves on not giving up points but whenever you turn the ball over and they lead to scores—And they bailed us out time and time again so far—but whenever you turn it over that many times it’s hard or those guys to go out there and do their jobs when it’s a short field. Just wanted to talk to those guys and let them know I was aware of my mistakes and I wanted to clean them up and I will clean them up.

Smith also believes that the mistakes that he has made thus far are correctable, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported via Twitter. 

Despite his rocky start, Geno Smith has showed that he has the poise and the big-play ability of an NFL starting quarterback. If he can cut down on his turnovers, he will have a bright future in the league.