Blain: The Geno Smith Situation

New York Jets QB Geno Smith
New York Jets QB Geno Smith is coming off another subpar performance in the Jets’ 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions. With Michael Vick lurking in the background (see photo?), is Smith’s job security in trouble? OTT’s Darryl Blain breaks down the Jets’ QB situation at the quarter-year mark.

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This is all anyone plopped in front of a TV watching Gang Green on Sundays is talking about now that the Jets are where they are at this point in the season.

Geno Smith.

Of course that’s something that comes with the territory when you’re a quarterback in a market that is saturated with media coverage with a side of more media coverage. It also doesn’t help that you play for a team that seems to enjoy this kind of ridiculous controversy and goes out of its way to pick up a veteran backup with starting experience (see Tim Tebow).

However, I’m taking the high ground on this one (yes, it’s the high ground) and saying leave Geno in there and stop solely blaming him for the current circumstances.  If you disagree with me, I’m here to inform you that you probably pay too much attention to the aforementioned media coverage.

The number one reason the Jets are where they are right now is simple: the secondary is terrible — not bad —terrible. We knew they would be a problem before the season started. The cornerback situation is dire and went completely unaddressed in the offseason.

Our first round safety has been burned more than JJ in the dating game (sorry J). In the three losses the top opposing receiver averaged an embarrassing 143.3 yards. As a unit they are yet to record an interception. Those are very telling statistics. If they didn’t have help from a defense line that is best in the league against the run and leading the NFL in sacks as I am writing this, the secondary would be even more exposed than they already are. If corners were as dissected as quarterbacks, we wouldn’t be calling for their jobs, we’d be calling for their heads.

If you are reading this right now and shouting at your computer screen, “but Darryl, he turns the ball over way too much! He’s killing us,” I won’t argue with you. His turnovers hurt.

However, there are two simple responses to that. The first is that he has improved a lot since last year whether you believe it or not. At this time last year he was completing 57.3% of his passes vs. 60.3% this year, and had 11 turnovers vs. 7 this year (with only one more TD last year). He’s still only 23 years old and has plenty of room to grow as a QB in this league.

The second response is for me to ask whether you have a mild case of amnesia, because there’s an old saying: it’s only a problem if you have a solution. Michael Vick is not the solution, hence the amnesia question in case you forgot I asked, because well… amnesia.

In his last 17 games with the Eagles Vick threw 13 interceptions and lost seven fumbles. You either forgot about all that or are insane because you’re pitching the idea of replacing a guy who turns the ball over too much with a guy who turns the ball over too much and is at the end of his career.

The bottom line is this: we drafted Geno in the second round and are bringing him up to be the long term solution. If you bench him now because of a rough start that is over-exaggerated and would not even be a point of discussion had the rest of the team played up to snuff against the Lions and Packers, then you set the franchise back at least 2-3 years.

Think about that.

Are you willing to start from scratch and start the search and multi-year development for another franchise QB over again, or stick it out and waste one more year at most?

The choice is Rex’s, Idzik’s, and Woody’s, and I think they’ll side with me — for now.

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