Rex Ryan disputes claim that Geno Smith is out of shape

First there's a report that rookie quarterback Geno Smith is out of shape; then Rex Ryan comes to the defense of his young QB. Now we're getting back to the normal back-and-forth action we're used to.

"He seems fine to me, Ryan said of Smith according to ESPN's Jane McManus. "When he ran for 80 yards that one play he looked good to me."

Meanwhile, Geno Smith himself isn't in the mood to be giving reactions to such reports that he's in poor shape. Asked about Brian Baldinger's report that he had a conditioning problem, Smith replied, "I have none. That is his opinion."

Obviously, Rex Ryan is going to defend players that have been brought in to help his team, but Ryan has more reason than that to defend his new quarterback. Let me explain.

Rex Ryan doesn't want Mark Sanchez to beat Geno Smith for the starting job. Ryan should be looking for an excuse (he doesn't need one) to bench Sanchez in favor of Smith. Negative reports about Smith make it more difficult to do that.

We know exactly what the Jets will be getting if they roll with Mark Sanchez this Fall, but Geno Smith is a bit of a wildcard. Rex Ryan knows that too, but the status quo of the Jets won't be enough for Ryan to keep his job as the Jets' head coach. Geno Smith, for better or worse, gives Ryan the best chance to keep his current job, and it gives him an incentive to make his young quarterback look as good as possible in the public eye.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.