Heading into Saturday night's game against the New York Giants the biggest story in Jets nation was the heated quarterback competition between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. The biggest story following the New York Jets 24-21 victory was Rex Ryan's handling of the quarterbacks which resulted in Sanchez leaving the game injured.
For the sake of competition Rex Ryan played rookie quarterback Geno Smith for three quarters of the game to see what the young signal caller can do with the first string offense. Smith experienced some ups and downs (1 td pass, 3 ints, a safety) and gained some valuable experience facing live action. After watching Smith play it was evident to anyone and everyone watching the game that Mark Sanchez should be the starting quarterback for week one of the regular season.
The fourth quarter begins and both teams empty their benches to allow the reserve players to fight for roster spots or positions on the depth chart. In many aspects this is the last chance for these players to leave an impression on the coaching staff as roster cuts begin on August 27th. As the Jets offense takes the field most expected Matt Simms to finish out the game for Gang Green. Well, to the surprise of many Mark Sanchez ran out to the huddle to lead the combination of second and third string players. Yes, the same Mark Sanchez that will more than likely be named the starting quarterback for the regular season.
The first drive for Sanchez ended with a botch snapped which was beyond mind boggling for a fifth-year quarterback. For some ridiculous reason Ryan kept Sanchez in for another series which resulted in Mark taking a beating and leaving the field with an injured shoulder after completing a 23-yard pass. (The early reports are that it could be a shoulder or collarbone injury for Mark Sanchez.)
When asked about putting Mark Sanchez in the game with reserve players Rex Ryan offered: "Why compete period? We put him out there with guys. We're there to win." When pressed more about his decision Rex offered: "We're trying to compete and everyone is out there. Injuries are part of the game."
Rex are you kidding me? You are doing whatever it takes to win a meaningless preseason game? You are pulling out all of the stops to win the Snoopy Bowl? You are willing to let your starting quarterback take a beating so you can spew your competition mantra? What an absolute joke and bush league move by a head coach fighting for his job. The decision to play Sanchez was beyond ridiculous and indicative of a coach that has no clue how to handle his players. There is no coach in the NFL that would allow his starting quarterback to take a beating in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. Then to defend the move with arrogance is beyond embarrassing for the New York Jets head coach.
The prospects for the Jets heading into the season were not great as the team is clearly going through a transition period. The outlook appears to be a bit worse now as the team may be forced to start a quarterback that is not ready for the NFL stage.