We will be providing position-by-position breakdowns during the start of Jets training camp. For now, we focus on the quarterbacks.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comOn the roster: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms, Tajh Boyd
2013 notes: Geno Smith was the Jets 2013 season at quarterback, with a few sprinklings of Matt Simms during Geno’s worst moments. A lot has been written about Geno and his 2013 season, for two good pieces read Bent’s BGA on Geno’s use from the shotgun and this one after his win over the Browns. While the stat line wasn’t pretty for Geno (3,046 yards, 55.8% completion percentage, 12 TDs, 21 INT, 4 FUM) he had a great finish to the season over his last four games putting up four touchdowns and just two interceptions. While some might point to the ease of the schedule, his steady though not spectacular game against a peaking Carolina defense was the most compelling game for me.
Smith struggled much of the season, but showed promise over the last month of the season and as a result he enters training camp as the player that the Jets hope can hold onto his starting job.
Matt Simms saw time in mop-up work for Smith, but never gave anyone a compelling reason for him to become the team’s starter.
With Sanchez injured and David Garrard acting more as coach than viable quarterback the team didn’t have much of a choice? Geno Smith or Brady Quinn? There were no options for the Jets when Smith played poorly, which made the 8-8 team live and die by their quarterback.
Overall outlook: If everything goes to the Jets’ plan, Geno Smith will be the starter for this team from Weeks 1-17. It’s not often that anything goes according to plan for any NFL football team, so no one should be surprised if Vick sees time during the course of the season.
Adding Michael Vick to this team give the jets a viable (though less compelling year by year) option on the bench.
Rex Ryan the cardinal sin for quarterback is turning the ball over and putting his defense in a bad spot. For Geno Smith, it comes down to his ability to hold onto the football and move the chains. If he can do that than Rex feels confident his rebuilt defense can do the job. If Smith can’t hold onto the football, then Rex will have a quarterback in Vick who might not be the playmaker he once was, but should be able to do enough to keep this team afloat.
Camp competition: The field is obviously tilted towards Geno Smith, so don’t expect too much in the way of competition between Smith and Vick. Vick has downplayed it, the coaches have talked it up … which is it? Vick will likely see less snaps than Smith and that will be a function of Smith’s need to soak up more time on the field compared to Vick’s familiarity with the offense. The only way I see a real competition is if Geno Smith’s turnovers are so bad they can’t be ignored.
Instead, where the competition might be fiercest will be at the third quarterback spot between Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd. Since Vick only signed a one-year deal with the Jets, the team might be auditioning their third stringer as the eventual long-term backup for the team’s top quarterback.