Mike Tanier of USA Today writes about this year’s rookie quarterback class and draws some conclusions on EJ Manuel of the Bills, Mike Glennon of the Bucs and Geno Smith of the Jets. Here’s what Tanier had to say about Geno Smith in his summary section:
The sink-or-swim approach [with Geno Smith] will pay greater dividends than noodling with Matt Simms: if Smith flat lines, the Jets can easily replace the second-round pick in last year’s draft. If he rebounds and plays like he did in the first six weeks, he will answer some questions about both his ability and his maturity/confidence, allowing the Jets can switch offseason priorities and start looking for receivers who sometimes get open.
Games like Sunday’s win almost represent a worst-case scenario in Smith evaluation: What happens if Smith wins a few games with hot-and-cold efforts, then squeaks into the postseason? Idzik and whoever joins him in the decision process will have tough calls to make, but it is important to remember that we can only have this conversation because Smith showed so much early-season promise. Most of Smith’s problems are correctable, and more importantly, Smith demonstrated in September that he has the capacity to correct them. You don’t toss a quarterback like him away lightly, even if he goes a month or so without a touchdown.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comI would agree. If Geno can show that even with some meager protection improvement and more useful passing options in the next three games he can be a little less of a hot mess, then the Jets might not have to make much more short-term investment in the quarterback spot.
If however the SS Geno crashes on the rocks of the next three games, then the Jets are going to have to consider all their options as they enter the free agency period and the NFL Draft. Unfortunately for Geno, the Jets will be facing two top ten pass defenses before the season ends.
According to Football Outsiders Carolina ranks sixth against the pass, an even more dismaying number when you consisder that they are only second to the Jets in terms of stopping the run. Translation? It’s going to come down to (or on) Geno Smith. While the Browns are nothing special on defense, the Dolphins rank ninth against the pass. It was an aspect which the Jets didn’t do a good enough job of working around in their game a few weeks back. They have to put Geno in a better spot during that rematch to play spoilers to the Dolphins postseason dreams.
With plenty of cap space and a complement of draft picks coming in 2014 that could be used to turbocharge the offense, it is hard to imagine a first year GM giving up on his quarterback after just one season. But if Geno can’t definitively state his case on why he should be the option going forward, all bets should effectively be off.
Better receivers can help Smith, but no one wants to see the Jets get led down the “Mark Sanchez needs more weapons around him path” either. That dog won’t hunt. Smith still has plenty of work to do on his blitz pickups, his ability to read through progressions, and read a pre-snap defense.
Getting better options for Geno Smith will be a good thing for the team, but unless Geno can play better in the next three games against some stiff pass defenses, will it be the best thing for the team?