There has finally been some clarity when dealing with the New York Jets‘ quarterback situation. On Wednesday head coach Rex Ryan named rookie quarterback Geno Smih as his team’s starter Week 1 against visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This decision comes as little surprise after Smith was held out for New York’s final preseason game. His opportunity demonstrates that Gang Green is ready to begin a new era.
Of course veteran Mark Sanchez’s shoulder injury helped make any decision easier. Despite turnovers there were moments during these exhibition games when he looked halfway decent. Ryan caught much criticism by entering his presumed starter into their pointless contest against cross the New York Giants. Smith had earlier thrown three interceptions while looking completely over-matched. Despite his struggles everyone thought that Sanchez would enter Sunday atop New York’s depth chart. In theory this plan could have worked. A rookie signal caller sitting for several weeks while observing can help progression.
Recent success from new pros may have altered thinking. Washington Redskins signal caller Robert Griffin III and Indianapolis Colts triggerman Andrew Luck both took their teams to the playoffs. Russell Wilson also accomplished such success, but each had superior surrounding talent which made their jobs much easier. As many are aware questions dominate skill positions for the Jets.
Various media reports state that Sanchez will likely miss three weeks. An interesting dilemma potentially will appear when he returns. If Smith performs well there is a risk of ruining momentum. If struggles arise then benching him shatters confidence. New York won’t find a way out of their extension until 2014, but they can relegate Sanchez to backup duty. This creates the possibility that he may never throw another pass in green and white.