Thursday, December 8, 2016

WVUPros: Is now the time for Geno Smith?

The New York Jets are off to a 1-3 start. Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently the Jets’ starting quarterback has not lived up to the standard he last season. At this point last season, the Jets were 3-1 with Fitzpatrick at quarterback.

Should the team take a new approach at quarterback? By new approach, we really mean an old approach. Is now the time for Geno Smith?

In the last two games, Fitzpatrick has thrown a whopping NINE INTERCEPTIONS. NINE. There’s been just one touchdown from the starting quarterback amidst those nine interceptions. Looking at those two statistics alone, one would wonder if Fitzpatrick really is the best option for starting quarterback for the team.

A football team is in the business of winning games. Winning regular season games furthers a team to the ultimate goal of the post-season and the Super Bowl. You simply cannot get there by starting your season with a 1-3 record and nine interceptions in two games.

The Jets have some of the more vocal fans in the NFL, having been known to chant foul remarks and boo when players (Smith sadly last year) take the field. Now, in a turn of events, fans were reportedly chanting “GENO! GENO! GENO!” over the raucous sounds of Seahawks fans in New York on Sunday.

After the team’s loss on Sunday, Coach Todd Bowles voiced his support of Fitzpatrick, essentially making no mention of using Smith as an option for the team. When a quarterback has thrown nine interceptions in two games, it may be time for the head coach to look at his other options, especially when he has a very patient backup quarterback waiting in the wings.

After the loss to the Seahawks, Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall was asked about the team’s quarterback. Marshall’s response was nothing short of Rose and Jack’s relationship in Titanic, all he was missing was Celine Dion singing in the background.

Marshall’s response; “I am going down in the boat with Ryan Fitzpatrick. OK? You got it? Can you not ask my any more questions about it? I am going down in the boat with No. 14.”

It seems the team’s receiver is set in his ways with his quarterback, even though the quarterback could potentially be leading the team into the proverbial ocean with the pair of them.

The Jets team and coaches see Geno Smith every single day. They see him on the field, off the field, in team meetings, in locker rooms, practicing and conditioning. They know what he is capable of. The Jets coaches also see Ryan Fitzpatrick coming off of a career-season, but throwing nine interceptions in two games. It seems as though the Jets are simply not willing to give Smith a chance. Even though Fitzpatrick is trending downward this season and bringing the team with him.

While Smith has not yet had the NFL career that many thought he would have, he truly has not been given much of a chance. After the broken jaw, Smith has essentially been thrown to the wayside with the Jets, and was not given the chance to see if his offseason work paid off on the field.

Same story this past offseason.

The Jets re-signed Fitzpatrick at the last minute prior to the start of training camp. While Smith led the Jets through offseason workouts and OTA’s, Fitzpatrick played golf. 

What if Smith has improved and his team actually rallies around him? This could be the spark that is so greatly needed for the Jets offense. If the coaches can rally their team around the idea of winning, of trying to give Smith the chance he deserves and quite frankly the team needs, this may be their chance to turn around the season.  .

This situation with a struggling Fitzpatrick could be the last chance opportunity that Smith has to prove what he can do. If the time is now for Smith, he must capitalize and show that he can be the team’s leader.

Otherwise, it could be another very long season for the Jets, and for Geno too.

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