If you want to be a popular quarterback with New York Jets fans, your best best is to slide as far down the depth chart as possible. We know the backup quarterback is always the most popular guy in town but here with the Jets, the third and fourth stringers have truly become the belles of the ball.
After playing a respectable fourth quarter and overtime in last week’s pre-season game, Matt Simms is now the “hot” name. There are an alarmingly high number of Jets fans, “journalists” (or whatever we call Mike Lupica these days) and other assorted voices calling for Simms to “just get a chance.” No, really. There is a large section of people following this team who really think Matt Simms could be a viable starter for week one and there is another large section who thinks Greg McElroy should be the guy.
If Simms goes out and plays well tonight, I can’t even imagine the commotion. Nevermind that he will be playing against the 2nd and 3rd stringers of the one of the league’s projected worst defenses who will be running nothing but vanilla, high-school level schemes, if Simms throws a few TDs…he’s shown enough!
We’ve seen this movie before. This is fan-base who has aggressively called for Brooks Bollinger, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge in the past.
There is a reason Matt Simms wasn’t drafted. There is a reason he was the Jets fourth quarterback last summer before being cut. There is a reason nobody signed him until the Jets decided to bring him back as their 4th quarterback this summer. The Jets don’t know something the rest of the league doesn’t. Simms has been their fourth quarterback the majority of summer, literally receiving zero work with the starting line-up and likely minimal work with even the second string. Sure, he has a nice arm and maybe he can develop into a backup down road but how about he gets a season under his belt as a third quarterback first? Somehow I’m doubtful he’s ready to make the leap from 4th string to 1st string because he completed 11 passes against the Giants third string secondary.
As for the McElroy fanatics. There is something they always conveniently forget to mention: He got a start last year, against a poor defense and was completely overmatched. He got his chance, played badly and was injured. He is injured again now and he was injured in his rookie year. He isn’t durable and doesn’t have NFL pocket presence or arm strength. Stop trumping up his performance against Arizona last year. He completed 5 passes for 29 yards and had an interception incorrectly overruled because of a bad call by the referee.
It is amazing how quickly some Jets fans have washed their hands of Geno Smith. There is no question he was bad last week but that’s it? Time to throw in the towel on this year’s 2nd round pick and hand the reigns to Simms? Certain Jets fans talk about a desire to win right now but ignore that Mark Sanchez has been the only Jets quarterback to move the ball consistently against a starting defense in the pre-season. I don’t care how many times you watch the Butt-Fumble GIF, the Jets would be better off starting Sanchez week one than Simms or McElroy…by a wide margin.
What happens if Graham Harrell plays well in the second half tonight, should he start week one?
Don’t be so quarterback starved that you don’t think rationally. Don’t Tweet #FreeGeno an hour before the Jets/Giants game and then 4 hours later be demanding a fourth stringer you never heard until that night start week one. There are two players, barring injury, who will start this season for the Jets at quarterback – Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. Don’t waste your breath calling for McElroy or Simms because one won’t be on the roster in 4 days and one will be inactive every Sunday.