Tajh Boyd will be anxiously awaiting the third or fourth quarter in the New York Jets‘ preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night after Geno Smith and Michael Vick get their work in. For the former Clemson Tigers QB, it will be the first time he steps onto the field as a professional football player. It has not been a smooth transition for Boyd thus far, and by the looks of it if he wants to stay in the NFL, he needs to perform against the Bengals’ backups.
At Clemson, Boyd shined as a dual-threat QB in three seasons as a starter, throwing for more than 30 touchdowns and 3,800 yards passing in each season. In Clemson’s spread offense, it allowed Boyd to use his running ability to not only get outside the pocket, but scramble for gains. In his career, Boyd ran for over 1,000 yards. The problem for Boyd has been learning to become a NFL QB, and with the Jets’ West Coast offense, which is pretty much the complete opposite of the spread, that learning process has been slow. Rex Ryan likes Boyd and knows him well from his son playing at Clemson. Ryan will be giving Boyd the chance on Saturday to get a few series under his belt and see what he can do on the next level.
The nerves are certainly going to be there for Boyd, this being his first time in an NFL game, but at Clemson he played in a few big games. In his last two seasons in bowl games, he has been victorious against two powerhouse football programs in LSU and Ohio State. Boyd will be getting some help from the coaching staff, who will be designing some plays for Boyd to feature his skill set and give him not only a shot to impress the Jets, but other teams around the league. Matt Simms is currently not in the plans for Saturday to see any action, so this will be Boyd’s shot to try to close the gap against Simms and make the Jets’ roster.