E.J. Manuel was not the only AFC East rookie quarterback to be officially named the starter on Wednesday, September 4. He’ll have some strong competition within his own division at least for a little while. The Jets confirmed that Geno Smith will be at the helm when “Gang Green” takes the field against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
With the shoulder injury to Mark Sanchez, it was apparent that Geno Smith’s time was coming sooner than later. As the future of the New York Jets offense, Geno Smith has become the now. Geno Smith missed practices after the first preseason game. According to CBSpsorts.com, Geno’s ankle injury is healthy enough. If not, the Jets will be looking towards Matt Sims and recently signed, Brady Quinn. During the press conference, Rex Ryan added that "Geno might not be %100, but he'll be ready to go." He also stated that Geno Smith just "needs to be part of the solution."
There are two questions pertaining to Geno Smith beginning opening day as the starter. It’s some things to think about as the season rapidly approaches.
Is he ready? We know Geno Smith threw three interceptions in the third preseason game against the Giants. We also know he trotted out the back of the end zone in the same game. Still, Geno made some plays against the first team, and all of his mistakes can be used as a learning experience. Let’s not act like veteran top five quarterbacks have never thrown multiple interceptions before. So, if Geno isn’t ready, you'll never know when it might click. It could take him one quarter or five games. That would still be a two thirds of the season left.
If Geno Smith isn’t ready, how will he handle it? Players like David Carr haven’t recovered from starting too early. Many of his problems were attributed to a horrible offensive line. However, Geno Smith has a good offensive line which in turn should create a nice running game. With that alone, the Jets should be able to have a balanced attack all season.
There’s no question that all eyes will be on Geno Smith and people will look at his demeanor as much as his ability on the field. If the losses mount up, there’s no doubt that he will receive a lot of the criticism.
There’s no time frame for when Mark Sanchez should be back from injury. Without Sanchez in the lineup, Tom Brady’s AFC East foes have 16 starts combined.