TOJ Roundtable – Quarterback Decision Edition

The TOJ Roundtable debates what the New York Jets should do at the quarterback position

The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…

Knowing that Geno Smith is still starting against San Diego, how would you handle the quarterback situation going forward the rest of the season?

Joe Caporoso – Geno Smith should be on a quick hook this Sunday. Part of the reason Mike Vick was signed was to avoid Smith having the four game cushion of poor play he did in 2013 because the Jets didn’t have a competent backup. The Jets have a competent backup now, so with Smith coming off two poor games in row, if he begins to struggle in a third, the team should turn to Vick as a change of pace. Turning to Vick in game doesn’t mean it is his job for the rest of the season but could be a necessary move for the Jets to upset San Diego, if Smith is turning in a similar performance to the one he did against Detroit.

As for the bulk of the year, it feels like a tossup. I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith started every game the rest of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vick was inserted on Sunday and did the same. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Vick plays at some point but is eventually pulled again for Smith, either due to injury or ineffectiveness. Ultimately, I said before the year that Smith would be the starter for the duration of the season so I will stick with that but he is flirting with losing his job.

Connor Rogers –  The Jets are digging themselves into a deeper hole as the weeks go by. With match ups against the Chargers, Broncos, and Patriots in the next 3 weeks, they are facing the possibility of being 2-5 or 1-6 if the turnovers are not cleaned up.

I am a big Geno Smith fan, he has the raw skill set and work ethic to succeed in the NFL. Unfortunately at the moment, he is forcing the ball and costing the team week after week with poor decision making. If this does not change against a banged up San Diego Chargers unit, Mike Vick should see the field in week six with a game plan tailored around him through a week of practice.

Cole Patterson – I don’t think that anything has changed since the start of the season in regards to handling the quarterback situation. Michael Vick is an explosive, uber talented 34 year old with consistency issues, a turnover problem, and a time share on the injury report. Geno Smith is a 23 year old project with immense potential but a similar propensity towards turning the ball over.

When it comes down to it, the powers that be are going to have to answer a few questions regarding the direction of the team. Is it more important to win now or build for the future? If the answer is build, Smith is the obvious choice as Vick, due to his age and injury history, is not an option. Choosing the immediate is a bit more complicated. Does Vick offer a better chance to win now? We know he is explosive but his turnover problems are well documented and are exacerbated in the red zone (an area where the Jets have already been sacked three times, fumbled three times, and lost two turnovers). Geno Smith has been able to move the ball effectively up and down the field for most of the season but he too has been turning the ball over. The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (or in this case, un-teach them). Vick isn’t going to stop turning the ball over at this point in his career so, the question is, how quickly can Geno Smith stymie his propensity towards turning the ball over? Does it matter? If both are going to turn the ball over and Smith has been otherwise effective, in what scenario is Vick truly the better option?

TJ Rosenthal –  As far as turning to Vick, be ready to do it in game. I would look for any signs of emotional strain from Geno or a three pick meltdown then make a switch. It’s hard to start Vick outright when this summer the Jets determined that Geno was better. What I would have done was give Vick more of a shot from the start but this organization really sees Geno as a guy to groom so if there is a change I see it happening during a game not midweek.

The offensive struggles are not all on Smith so it’s fair to question why change at all? The only reasons are for a jolt in energy or willingness to live with Vick’s turnover prone ways in exchange for the big plays his unique style can still create.

Dalbin Osorio – I think Geno’s going to be the starter for the rest of the season, so I agree with Mike OC on that part. I disagree with the notion of Rex and his job security that OC presented, but we’ll leave that for another day. The Jets are trying to figure out if Geno is the QB that’s going to lead this team going forward. There have been hiccups along the way, but if I told you that Geno would be completing 60% of his passes after the year he had in 2013 everyone would’ve signed up. He must clean up the INTs and get back to playing confidently.

With that said, I’d start him the rest of the way because I think he gives you the best chance to win. This isn’t 2004 and we’re not playing Madden. Michael Vick is a 34 year old QB that has had essentially one good year recently as a QB in this league. Vick isn’t getting better, whereas there’s a chance that Geno might. You roll with him the rest of the way and then assess where you are at QB at the end of the season, when Rex (barring an implosion) is retained.

Dan Marcus – This is a pretty tricky one because a lot of it is dependent upon how he plays this week, if Geno goes out and lights it up without turning the ball over then this isn’t even a question. However, if he’s terrible again and the Jets drop to 1-4, there may be no other recourse but to turn to Vick to give this team a spark. When you’re staring down the barrel of a potential 1-6 start with the Broncos and Patriots on the horizon, Rex is going to have to say “damn the torpedoes” because you need to give yourself the best chance to win football games.

The one thing that worries me is Vick’s lack of reps and if there would be some considerable rust on him going into whatever game he would start but desperate times do call for desperate measures; we’re not there quite yet but we could be very soon.

Michael O’Connor –  I think Geno Smith is going to end up playing the entire season unless absolutely drastic measures arise. I think there is a line and it is pretty unbreakable for him to lose the starting job completely, and not even for reasons about Mike Vick and his play. Hopefully Geno doesn’t keep this downward spiral going, but if he does, Vick could totally come in and play better than the second year quarterback. This situation is more about Rex Ryan and his job than the actual quarterbacks.

It’s going to take a miraculous and substantial turnaround from this wildly inconsistent play for Rex to have his job security sealed after this season. Even with an even record last year, some wanted him gone, including myself. If Geno keeps tanking and needs a benching here and there, Rex will likely do it. The thing is, Geno is the much more logical starter for the future than Vick is. It is definitely possible Geno isn’t the answer, too, but he’s clearly more logical to give leverage towards for 2015. If Rex keeps proving that he can’t win with Geno, will he be able to save his job by playing Vick? How meaningful will a win or two more mean for the team’s future if it comes at the hands of Vick? Ryan isn’t going to deserve another dedicated season of Geno most likely playing quarterback in 2015 if he threw in the towel on him mid-season. You have to think of the future of the team and therefore, Rex latching on to Geno to hope for a return in 2015 is likely…that’s why I don’t think Vick will start more than maybe one game.

Joe Malfa –Through the ups and downs of Geno Smith’s young career, I have always been one of his biggest supporters, and I still believe that he has the tools and skills necessary to become a good starting quarterback a few years down the road; however, the Jets need to win now.

The Monday night demolition of the Patriots was great for Jets fans in more ways than one. It was great for the obvious reason of the Pats getting their teeth kicked in, but more importantly, it means that the Jets are still only one game back in the lowly AFC East.

The Jets have a fighting chance to emerge as the winners division with how bad it is this season, and Geno’s inexperience coupled with his seemingly innate ability to turn the ball over will not get this team on the winning track. If he comes out and plays poorly in the early stages of the game against San Diego, he needs to be benched, and not just for the remainder of the game — he needs to be benched permanently.

The fact of the matter is Michael Vick gives this team a better chance to win now. Yes, he will turn the ball over from time to time, but he can’t possibly turn the ball over as much as Geno, and if not for untimely Geno turnovers, the Jets could be 4-0.

At the start of the season, the Jets named Geno the starter with the future in mind. With the division in shambles, the future is now — the time to win is now — and Michael Vick gives the Jets the best opportunity to win now. He’s more experienced, more of a playmaker, and he simply provides a spark that Geno is incapable of providing.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports