One would think last year’s failure might have taught New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan that a two-quarterback system does not work. Apparently, this is not the case.
Various media reports say Ryan is open to designing a read-option package for rookie quarterback Geno Smith if Mark Sanchez wins the competition. It has become clear that the battle will include only these two men while Matt Simms and Greg McElroy try to emerge as third signal caller.
Sanchez regressed tremendously last season due in part to Tim Tebow’s presence. An example would be New York’s playoff-eliminating loss to the Tennessee Titans when their starter got in rhythm, only to be pulled for Tebow to run a disastrous wildcat. Repeating this would do serious harm in more than one way.
Smith continues to battle for starting position throughout New York’s offseason. He presents confidence in his abilities and that is an important trait. Despite talks of inconsistent performance, there remains tremendous upside. Installing specialty plays could take advantage of his athletic abilities and from that perspective, it could be exciting. Bringing him along slowly makes some sense, but risk is present at the same time.
Rhythm is so important to quarterbacks. Switching a rookie in and out does not allow him to create chemistry with receivers. There must be an answer one way or the other. It already will be a tough transition for Smith, who spent much of his time at West Virginia operating from the shotgun formation. Designing this game plan hinders his ability to learn either by observation or becoming fully immersed in action.
If they decide to go with Sanchez, the Jets must cater everything around his fragile psyche. No option is ideal, but one must be made to benefit this franchise.