Mike Vaccaro writes for the NY Post that the Jets coach seems to have little patience for the poor play of his quarterback, but that he’s still tempering it as best he can … for now.
Rex Ryan was kind enough to break away from the kids-will-be-kids pap with which the Jets have been buffering Smith in favor of a blunt, honest sentence or two after he was asked, fourth week in a row, if this is the tax to be paid for starting a rookie.
“How many times are we going to make that excuse?” Ryan said. “One of these days we’ve got to learn from it and it better be soon. We’d better learn in a hurry.”
It didn’t take long for the coach to snap out of that, to remind everyone “this isn’t only on one guy,” to take a hammer to the rest of the team, to stress that the Jets were outplayed in every phase of the game, “especially coaching.”
But the evidence was plain, matching sets of picks and fumbles, enough that even Smith himself was moved to walk among his teammates when the carnage was complete and make a vow that seemed as much a pledge to himself as a promise to his mates: “This will never happen again.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThe defense didn’t have a great day, but I still think it is fair to say that the effort of the defense, which was put in terrible field position all day, was wasted by the offense.
There’s bound to be growing pains with any rookie quarterback and after just four weeks it is too early to abandon ship. There were bound to be days like this and we know that because we saw a similar scenario play out almost four years ago to the day. Then-rookie QB Mark Sanchez had a similar result in his fourth game of his rookie season, logging four turnovers against the Saints. It was hard to not believe that Sanchez’s struggles in that game pushed the Jets to trade for Browns WR Braylon Edwards, who made an immense difference over the rest of the season in the passing game for the Jets.
Some mistakes that are easier to forgive than others though and yesterday featured some of the harder to get over variety. Yes, yesterday was Geno’s worst day as a starter since the preseason and now it comes down to how the team responds. Do they continue to put the burden on Geno to make plays, or do they limit what they are trying to do offensively and use Geno’s abilities in a more calculated capacity?
Judging from the quote above, Ryan is clearly taking a different tack than he did last year. While he softened it, Ryan knows that the quarterback position is the keystone for this team, and if the quarterback can’t protect the football, then the team needs to find someone else who can. The problem of course is that there’s really only one compelling option left to the Jets on their roster, and the only reason it is compelling is because it is a complete unknown.
The Matt Simms talk has already begun. While we like Simms just fine, to think that just because Simms carved up the preseason backups (now castoffs) of one of the league’s provably worst secondaries is folly. Simms did look commanding and decisive when he played against the Eagles, that is true. He made excellent decisions with the football, but preseason football is not regular season football.
The Jets need to ride out things with Geno for now. But at least it is good to know that the coach isn’t blindly behind the quarterback and repeating the “best chance to win” rhetoric we heard from him last year.