When Chan Gailey announced last week that “Right now, Geno’s the starter, unless something happens- an injury, or something like that” Jets Twitter naturally went into overdrive. Like seemingly nothing else, bringing up ‘The Geno Question’, is like holding a flame to blue torch paper; the results are explosive and spread quickly.
Opinions are incredibly divided and the same goes for us two UK Jets Fans; one thing we definitely don’t agree on is our views on Geno’s future as the starting QB. That’s not to say that we are either completely pro or anti Geno, but this is an impossible topic for us to write about collaboratively. So, we’ve decided to share our own thoughts on the subject separately! You’ll notice that we agree Geno is the right choice at this current moment, however, our views on his potential impact with the New York Jets are somewhat different.
Forgive me for being cynical about Geno, but on the strength of his first two years, I just don’t see him as the long term solution for the Jets. If this year goes well, I think it’ll be in spite, not because, of him. I watched live as he threw three terrible interceptions against Buffalo and ended up with him being benched. It was not pretty. Sure, he has had completely opposite performances, such as the surprising Miami game, but it is his consistent inconsistency that has always that has always been the biggest concern.
Geno definitely has been provided with a wider range of weapons this off-season and a coaching change may benefit him. However, neither is going to suddenly change the inconsistency that has dogged him thus far. He may only be starting his third year and it does take a while for QBs to find their way in the NFL, but unfortunately that time is not always available. Fan, coaches, managers, and owners expect production. Geno, although admittedly showing sparks, doesn’t seem to have that elite poise needed to face this pressure. Watching Geno reminds me of watching the retro British tennis player Tim Henman. Tim always got knocked out in the semi-finals of Wimbledon year after year, being pretty good but not quite good enough to make it big.
Conversely, despite my views on Geno’s quality, I do think that Gailey’s statement is the only viable decision. Fitzpatrick is injured (and not exactly elite either) and Petty is not going be ready for at least a year or two. The New York Jets continue to be stuck between a rock and a hard place at QB. With a shallow free agent pool and the top two quarterbacks in the draft taken with the top two picks, Geno does seem the only option at this point; I just don’t think he is good enough to carry the franchise through an increasingly difficult division. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see him succeed and prove me (and many others) wrong. At the end of the day, he is our quarterback and I want this team to win.
If you didn’t know already, I am a big Geno Smith supporter. I understand since drafting Geno in 2013, 39th overall, we have seen very little return but all is not lost. With the many changes this year, Geno may finally receive some of the critical attention he deserved in the beginning, yet never received.
Gailey’s announcement should be taken with a pinch of salt. I believe they are right in saying that he is the best option. It is his job to lose. With the Jets’ new look offence, Geno will have the best chance he’s ever had in green and white. Geno has never had a true receiving core to throw to. Last year, Decker being his best option. Now, having a true 1-2 punch with Brandon Marshall and a great potential deep threat in Devin Smith, Geno has no excuses.
Some suggest Ryan Fitzpatrick should be the week 1 starter, but he was never brought in to serve that purpose. Ryan knows the league and know our Gailey’s offence. Fitzpatrick has had little luck grounding himself as a franchise QB and has been categorised a journeyman, something no team would build their future around. Geno has already established a negative narrative, but, only being 24 years old, he’s definitely a better option than banging an old drum in the 32 year old Fitz-magic.
With more support from veteran team-mates like Marshall, Geno can now gain the confidence he needs. We all saw what he did against Miami. That wasn’t a coincidence, it was his talent shining through. The Jets coaches just need to find away to clear the clouds of judgment and let Geno Smith shine.