With Mark Sanchez sidelined and Brady Quinn still learning the offense, the New York Jets don’t have many options behind rookie Geno Smith at quarterback. If the time came, though, could Matt Simms get the start under center for Gang Green?
As farfetched as some might think, it’s not completely out of the question for Simms to get a start during the 2013 season.
Through two games, Smith has suffered from his fair share of struggles. The rookie put together a solid NFL debut last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, amassing 256 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception while completing 63.2 percent of his passes. Overall, it was a strong showing that temporarily put the Jets at ease.
The 2013 second-round pick’s second outing against the New England Patriots, though, wasn’t as pretty. He got off to a decent start, showing confidence and cool while being dragged down by drops. The second half quickly fell apart, however, as Smith threw three interceptions and clearly got flustered. After completing 42.9 percent of his passes for 214 yards and the three picks, Smith had already lost the believers he had gained in Week 1.
If the struggles continue for Smith, the Jets could look elsewhere to fill the starting quarterback role. That’s where a player like Simms might come in.
Undrafted out of Tennessee in 2012, Simms spent the entire preseason impressing the Jets coaching staff. Receiving limited work in Week 2 and Week 3 before playing every snap in the preseason finale, Simms had completed 74.6 percent of his passes for 479 yards and a touchdown when all was said and done. He finished the preseason with a 103.7 passer rating, beating out Greg McElroy for the No. 3 quarterback job in the process.
While he still has plenty to prove as an NFL passer, Simms showed that he’s capable of handling the pressure. He took every snap in the preseason finale, completing 33 of 44 passes (five drops) for 286 yards. He failed to throw a touchdown, but also avoided tossing any interceptions and led the Jets to a win.
It might not happen right away, but if Smith continues to struggle, the Jets might be forced to replace him in the starting lineup. Seeing as Sanchez is likely headed for season-ending surgery, Simms could be their best bet.
Jets fans aren’t going to like the idea, but Simms could be starting before too long.