The Jets front office has done everything possible to prepare Geno Smith to fully take the reins of the team in 2014, but head coach Rex Ryan has refused to name him the starter for a variety of strange reasons.
Despite breaking most of former starting QB Mark Sanchez’s rookie passing records and leading the team to an unexpected 8-8 record (and ultimately saving his job), Geno Smith has not been named the starting QB of the Jets by head coach Rex Ryan.
The team added QB Michael Vick as competition but also as a mentor for Smith. Despite his presence and significant ability even in his 30s, Smith seems like a lock to be the starter in the September 7 opener against the Raiders.
But when asked in a press conference if the team was ready to name a starting QB, Rex said, “For the regular season, no… We’re not ready to do that.”
Smith’s rookie season in 2013 had its ups and downs: He finished with 12 passing TDs and 6 rushing TDs but 21 INTs and 8 fumbles. He also had six games with a passer rating above 80.0 – all wins. But Smith also had six games with a passer rating below 60.0 – all losses. In a four game stretch in the middle of the season Smith threw a grand total of 29 completions with no TDs, 6 INTs and an average passer rating of 22.0.
The Jets were able to win several difficult games because of Smith, but perhaps Rex attributes the team’s success to being able to win despite Smith, which may be why he is so hesitant to name Smith the outright starter.
“Just don’t feel like it,” Ryan said. “We know things can happen, and that’s why it’s like: Let everything work out.”