Why Boo Geno?
Think about it, what’s the point of booing Geno Smith for a slow start the way some fans did at Saturday night’s Green and White practice at Met Life Stadium? Like him as a player or not and there are reasons after a pedestrian body of work over two seasons not to, the Jets have nobody to turn to right now who would beyond a shadow of a doubt improve the quandary at quarterback.
Aside from his play since he was named starter as a rookie in 2013, Smith has also fallen victim to circumstances surrounding him that are out of his control, thus shading the gray area he resides in even murkier.
First there is Tom Brady, who Deflategate aside, has been picture perfect for fifteen years and gives the hated rival Patriots a shot at the Super Bowl title every year. Regardless of who stands in the huddle next to him…then you have the Giants Eli Manning, a prototype for the franchise quarterback. Sturdy. Always healthy. A guy a team can lead on. A winner. Those are Geno’s closest neighbors, Throw in once rookie phenoms like Russell Wilson or an Andrew Luck who has done nothing but impress and improve and skyrocket to the upper echelon of the elite, and judge the development rate of a Luck to Smith. Not pretty.
Smith was throwm into the fire two years back without enough talent surrounding him, with little time to develop his own physical tools and with no better option for Rex Ryan after he got Mark Sanchez injured for no reason in garbage time against the Giants. Now in year three though Smith has weapons and is truly is the better option than rusty up and down career type Ryan Fitzpatrick and raw wide eyed kid Bryce Petty. There is nowhere else to turn to in the immediate. November, even sometime in October should Geno crash and burn? Fine, make a switch. For now, the best thing the fan base can do is to support a guy who has put the time in, has people to throw to finally, and could use all the help he can get from the periphery…meaning the energy of the crowd.
Booing won’t help speed up the switch to the next guy, and cheering for Smith won’t guarantee success but given the choices right here right now, we all might as well get behind a kid who in an impatient world has nonetheless done his two long years of on the job training. Why not see if he can turn that into what we all crave as Jets fans: long term stability from behind center. It is too bad the Jets once again have no greater clear solution than Smith but we will know soon enough. So we might as well give the guy another chance. Deserved or not.
Those Damn Injuries Remind Me, Just Win
Antonio Allen took one for the team moving to CB last season when guys like Dee Milliner went down. Now both are out after getting hurt in practice last week. Allen for the year with a torn Achilles, Milliner for two months with a wrist injury. I read somewhere this week that the Jets are the latest club teaming up with a company called Strivr, one that uses virtual technology to help train players. Maybe that’s how teams will soon run their training camps in the future. With ardio and weight room workouts to follow the “games” played in rooms with huge HD screens.
I know, I know. Good luck with that scenario ever coming to fruition. Football is a contact sport. Guys are going to get hurt. Every team goes through it. There is never a year that passes though where I don’t wish players could just stay on the field. Where what is built on paper has a chance of blossoming as planned. The injures to Allen and Milliner would have ruined the Jets last year. This year the secondary is a different story.
Depth is a key to success. So is the concept that the NFL is a collection of one week seasons. The complexion of each team due to injury changes every week so it doesn’t matter how you win, especially in September. Just win baby. Because you never know who will line up for you the following week.
Jets Return to the Motor City
The Jets travel to Detroit this Thursday to open up the preseason. Remember the last time they were there in November of 2014? The Bills were snowed in for a week, couldn’t practice or use their stadium in Buffalo and so the league had to move the game. Yet, Gang Green who by then had Michael Vick leading the offense, still got spanked 38-3. Lovely memory.
Turn your pages to 2015. Now we get to see Geno and Brandon Marshall put their extra workout months of two man football bonding to work. We get to see Revis and Cromartie against some big time opponents. For one series. Maybe two.
I hope that I’ll see something spectacular during that brief stretch. We all do. What I expect regardless of minutes played from the first team units are a sign of organization, and at least a few good plays. I want to see Smith and Marshall hook up for a nice reception. A little pressure by the Jets front four once or twice. Maybe the secondary flexing it’s muscle downfield. A nice run by Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. Perhaps a nice drive or defensive three and out altogether. Then have a seat.
The fun stuff is usually left for the backups, fighting to win jobs. Hey receivers, vying for a spot thanks to Devin Smith’s injury, now is your time. Fitzy and Bryce Petty, even though I’m pulling for Geno to be a success, do your jobs. Make the coaching staff feel good about you both. The door is open for oft inured S Rontez Miles now that Antonio Allen is out for the year. It’s hard not to root for this former UDFA. Oh and please, let’s all stay healthy. No more injuries!
– I saw that Quinton Coples had a sack during the scrimmage Saturday and that Lorenzo Mauldin did some good work last week. Coples with his experience, should be closer to being a playmaker on a weekly basis but if he and the rookie third rounder can together contribute a few plays each week, it could put the defense over the top.
– RB Daryl Richardson had a few nice runs Saturday I hear. I guess him and former Rams teammate Zac Stacy will be in a battle to open up some eyes in the second half of these preseason games. Roster depth for any quality team is key. Stacy must have a chip on his shoulder having gone from starter to roster bubble status in one year but all bets are off in Florham though. No playing favorites, no leanings with this new coaching staff. Earn your keep. Good luck to both.
– Frank Gifford was a pioneer. A star player with star power who in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s helped make the NFL brand become a household fixture in America. A smooth delivery in the booth as a vital member of those early Monday Night football telecasts too. Thanks Frank.