Going into the preseason, the New York Jets had a very important decision to make at the quarterback position. That decision was do they play Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, or Greg McElroy?
Well, on Saturday, the team may have finally answered at least one part of that question. That being, Smith is not ready to be the franchise guy, at least for now.
At this point, he is clearly too raw and inexperienced to take over in his first NFL season. In the game, Smith went 16-for-30 for 199 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He even ran out of the back of the end zone for an ugly safety early in the fourth quarter.
Judging by his performance tonight, he may not be ready to start at all this season. Although he started the game okay, as his receivers started to make mistakes, he lost his poise in the pocket.
As the game progressed, he started to look rattled, throwing inexcusable picks throughout the first half of the game. He came back out for the second half and played well, but that late in the game, you play against mostly backups so very little should be taken from that.
His second quarter struggles tell me one thing; if he faces adversity, he will not have the poise to shake it off in a meaningful NFL game.
If I were in charge of the Jets, the question would not be Sanchez or Smith, it would be Sanchez or McElroy. Personally, I would choose McElroy as the starter and here’s why: The Jets need to face the facts, they will not win anything this year. They need to figure out if McElroy can play before moving on to Sanchez or Smith.
He has not been given an adequate shot to play QB for the team, and he is arguably the best short-term option for them at the position. McElroy, after all, had a great career at Alabama and has always been known for his accuracy.
Besides the college resume, he fared pretty well overall when the Jets finally benched Sanchez last season. He is more than capable of holding down the fort while the Jets continue to mold Smith into their franchise quarterback of the future.
The Jets should let Smith sit and learn behind either Sanchez or McElroy this year. Then, as he continues to learn the nuances of the position, he should be ready to take over in 2014. If you start him now, you are only hindering his development and setting him up to fail.
Who do you think should start for the Jets in 2013? Should it be Sanchez, Smith, or McElroy? Should they bring in someone else? Feel free to comment on the subject in the “comments” section below.