Earlier this morning, the New York Jets announced that rookie Geno Smith will start at the quarterback position on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The move was not a surprise to many, as Smith currently is the only suitable starter healthy right now, with Mark Sanchez out due to injury, and Brady Quinn having not even completed a full day of practice.
However, many people speculate that Sanchez’s days are numbered with the Jets. This leads me to think, was this the plan all along to start Smith?
Sanchez outplayed Smith in preseason, but not by much. Sanchez still made a variety of mistakes, one of them coming in the opening moments of the first preseason game against the Detroit Lions when he threw an interception right into the hands of rookie defensive lineman Eziekal Ansah. Sanchez was efficient in his following appearances but made a few mistakes that still lead you to believe that he is not the quarterback for the future. Matt Simms played exceptionally well in the Jets’ final preseason game, but you can’t argue that Simms is deserving of the starting role.
So that leaves Smith to start. This is no doubt huge for Smith, as he has a few games to prove everyone that he is capable of being an NFL starting quarterback. There has been much speculation that this is how the organization wanted it to happen; Sanchez’s injury just made it easier. Was it the Jets’ intent to name Smith the starter even though he was limited in preseason? Was it also their intent to sign a veteran quarterback right before the first game in Brady Quinn, someone who will automatically become the backup quarterback – meaning Sanchez is either getting the boot, or becomes the highest paid third string quarterback in the history of the NFL?
We will never really understand the thinking behind this series of moves, as the Jets will probably never divulge this information. However, you can read between the lines, and it’s not so far-fetched to figure out that Smith might have been the starter all along.