Rex Ryan has made it clear that Geno Smith is the Jets’ starting quarterback for the moment. With Mark Sanchez out for the rest of the year, there’s no legitimate backup for the Jets to turn to, but even beyond that, Ryan’s hands are tied. He simply can’t afford to bench Smith.
The Jets’ quarterback problems have translated to mixed results on the field. Although the Jets aren’t winning as many games as they’d like, Geno Smith provides hope for the future. That being said, he’s full of raw talent, and that usually doesn’t provide a lot of wins early on. Still, it may be enough for Ryan to keep his job.
With Mark Sanchez at quarterback, the expectation from fans and the Jets organization is seeing the Jets in the playoffs. With a raw-talent rookie at quarterback, however, the expectations dip to simply showing growth. The former set of expectations may have been unachievable, but Rex Ryan and company may be able to handle the latter set.
Geno Smith is a young quarterback that may well win some games for his team the Jets would otherwise lose. He will, however, also lose some games for the Jets they may have won. It’s all part of the developmental process, and that’s something Rex Ryan understands.
Even if we don’t consider Rex Ryan’s job security, the Jets’ top coach has shown in the past that he’s about as patient as they come in waiting on a quarterback to develop. Mark Sanchez never improved in the way that the Jets needed, but that doesn’t mean Geno Smith won’t show that improvement.
In reality, there is a choice that the Jets are making in keeping Smith in the starting position. By swapping quarterbacks, they would show a lack of confidence in their young quarterback, and the switch may throw off their offense even further. Whether Geno Smith is the answer in New York for the Jets is up for debate, but leaving him installed as the team’s starter is the right decision, at least for now.