During his first four years as New York Jets’ head coach, Rex Ryan was a leading member of the Mark Sanchez fan club. It appears that this loyalty has been tempered. Ryan recently told the New York Daily News of his greater confidence in the quarterback position. He went on to say, “I like our quarterback situation much better than I did the first year I was here.”
In 2009, New York’s starting signal caller of course was Sanchez, who was, at that time, a highly regarded player from USC. Kellen Clemens served as backup after losing out on an open competition. Prior to the regime change, some hope existed for Clemens to be their franchise quarterback. Finally, Erik Ainge never received much of an opportunity after being selected in the fifth round of 2008’s NFL Draft. Today’s depth chart is different.
Geno Smith represents change in physical gifts. While functioning primarily as a passer, he has solid mobility that allows him to also make plays on foot. Greg McElroy and Matt Simms are fighting for a chance. “Obviously, he’s had his ups and downs and things, but there’s a lot of positive things about what Mark’s accomplished, won four road-playoff games,” said Ryan. “But this Geno Smith is really a talented young man.” If one were to analyze Ryan’s words, two points become apparent; Ryan appears to have come around at last and he shows faith that Smith could become something special.