After a stretch of games that made his critics look sick, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith has been sickly, so much so that coach Rex Ryan pulled the rookie from West Virginia in favor of Matt Simms in the Jets’ latest loss, a 23-3 drubbing by Miami.
“Right now, I can’t tell you who is starting,” Ryan said.
With the playoffs now unlikely, the team could either play out the string by experimenting, or give Smith the ball to see exactly what he can do the remainder of the season.
Ryan is more concerned with winning.
“It’s safe to say that we’ll put the guys in who we think give us the best chance to be successful,” he said. “That’s the way it is and will be moving forward.”
Smith passed for just 29 yards in the first half with an interception, but insists he would be that best option.
“I have complete confidence in myself,” he said. “It’s been a tough three weeks, but I think I am the best option for this team. I think with the way that I work and the progress we’ve made as an offense – I know as of late we haven’t produced on the field – but sometimes that happens in the NFL.”
Smith received the Mark Sanchez treatment from Jets fans: boos. At the start of the second half, coaches give Simms the heads up.
“They just told me to be ready,” Simms said. “Rex came up to me and said, ‘Are you ready to go? Do you know the game plan?’ And I said ‘Yes sir, I’m ready to go’ and that was it.”
Ready or not, Simms went into the game – and was not noticeably better than Smith. He threw for just 50 yards, had an interception, a fumble and took two sacks that could have been avoided.
The other option for the Jets is David Garrard, the veteran QB who has overcome injury but has not yet played this season.
“All I know is what’s in front of us,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to dwell on this or this. We just have to look forward and do what’s best for the team right now.”