On Saturday the New York Jets announced that the team will be placing quarterback Mark Sanchez on the "injured reserve with designation to return" list. Sanchez will not be able to return to the field until week 11 leaving the New York Jets in the hands of rookie quarterback Geno Smith.
For some this is great news as they have become tired of the entire Sanchez experience which includes sub par quarterback play the last 2 years. For others this is a bittersweet moment as it appears that Mark could have played his last down as a New York Jet. Irregardless of the stance taken on Sanchez the fact of the matter is that Gang Green will now sink or swim with Geno Smith at quarterback.
In his first two games Smith has shown some flashes with his big arm, ability to scramble, and composure in the pocket. At the same time Geno also made some rookie mistakes like staring down his receiver, forcing passes, and taking bad sacks. With the game on the line against the Patriots the young signal caller threw 3 interceptions. Unfortunately these highs and lows in performance are all part of a rookie quarterback's initiation to the National Football League.
The growing pains that a young signal caller experiences requires a lot of patience from the fan base. Jets fans are no strangers to this scenario as they went through this process with Mark Sanchez. But will the fans be as patient with Geno Smith? Based on some of the reactions following the loss to the Patriots I am not so sure.
The days after the loss to New England fans were heard calling for Matt Simms to start, Sanchez to return, or for even Brady Quinn to be given a chance. It seemed as if Jets fans were only willing to endure Geno's learning curve as long as the team kept winning. You can sense the true frustration from a fan based starved for a championship.
Going forward it is going to be very interesting to see how the fan base responds to Geno Smith. Will they truly give Smith a chance to learn the ropes of the NFL even if that costs the team a victory or two? Or will the masses demand change when the rookie hits the wall? Furthermore how will head coach Rex Ryan handle the quarterback situation with his job reportedly on the line? Will Rex look to another unproven quarterback in Simms if Geno struggles?
I honestly have no idea how this is going to play out but I know that this quarterback situation is going to create constant headlines for the local media. Lets hope that Geno Smith can rise to the occasion and show the potential to become the franchise quarterback for Gang Green.