The New York Jets are choosing between two questionable options at quarterback this season. Although the Jets and coach Rex Ryan have all but run their course with Mark Sanchez, rookie quarterback Geno Smith has his own concerns. The decision seemed to have been made when Smith threw three interceptions in three quarters and took a safety against the New York Giants on Aug. 24 -- yet he may have no choice but to take the job after Sanchez got hurt in the fourth.
Although the Jets gave Smith his big chance by letting him start for three quarters, Sanchez came on anyway to wrap it up. This decision to put Sanchez on, in lue of another backup, became much more questionable when he suffered a shoulder injury on a hard hit.
Ryan seemed utterly ill-equipped to answer those questions in the postgame press conference. He kept stating the Jets were “trying to win the game” which they ultimately did by 24-21 in overtime after losing Sanchez. He even turned his back to reporters at one point, as they kept asking him why winning a preseason game was worth risking New York’s supposed starting quarterback -- especially after Smith showed he may not be ready for the job.
Depending on how Sanchez’s MRI goes, Smith could become No. 1 by sheer default anyway. Sanchez looked like he was going to win only by default, which seems to be the only way anyone wants to be the Jets’ quarterback. But given Ryan’s controversial decision and bizarre press conference, he may only be the Jets’ coach by default before much longer.
The Jets have one preseason game left on Aug. 29 against the Philadelphia Eagles -- another team that had a seemingly endless quarterback battle between a youngster and a fading incumbent. However, the Eagles ultimately picked Michael Vick to keep his job, just as the Jets were probably going to have to choose Sanchez -- at least until Ryan got in the way.
With no official decision yet and an MRI pending, the Jets’ quarterback woes and Ryan’s thin ice are nowhere near over. Yet this may be the most suspense around New York all season, if this is any indication of the season to come.