Even though the New York Jets suffered some major injuries in its secondary, and they are yet to find a No. 2 receiver atop the depth chart, the spotlight on Saturday night will belong to Geno Smith. The second-round pick from West Virginia has his chance to take the No. 1 quarterback job and run with it if he plays well against the Cincinnati Bengals.
When the Jets take the field against the Bengals, it’s up to Smith to help fans forget about their injuries on the defensive side of the ball and focus on him and the Jets’ new-look offense. This is a big game for Smith and he needs to play like it’s the regular season because if he doesn’t impress and continues to play it safe, Michael Vick climbs up a little higher on the New York Jets’ depth chart each game.
I understand Smith’s mindset, his need to play it safe and avoid turnovers, but any quarterback can throw slants, dump-offs and hand off the ball to the running back. It takes a great quarterback to command his offense, find his teammates in space and make big plays. I know it’s only Week 2 of the preseason and there are more games to be played, but Smith has to breakout with a big game soon or the Vick chants will grow louder and louder.
Smith needs to play with the mindset that this might be his last time as the Jets’ starting quarterback. Nothing is guaranteed in this league and Smith needs to prove himself on the field. It’s not like he doesn’t have the skill-set to be a great quarterback in the league — it’s up to him to translate his talent onto the field.
Another safe game from Smith will result in more Vick chants and more chants will add more pressure on the young quarterback. Hopefully Smith plays well, silences the chants and proves that he is No. 1 guy for the Jets’ starting quarterback job when the regular season begins.