Giving Geno Fitz? Why Ryan Fitzpatrick Could Mean Trouble for Geno Smith

Ryan+Fitzpatrick+Chan+Gailey+Buffalo+Bills+SchVIE4xutflWhen the New York Jets traded for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick they sent a clear message to their “franchise” quarterback Geno Smith. Put up or shut up. After two frustrating years filled with interceptions and movie trips to see Gone Girl the night before games, Geno Smith’s career in New York could be on life support.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is by no stretch a true franchise quarterback, but at the moment could be the Jets best option for opening day starter in 2015. Why? Chann Gailey is the Jets new offensive coordinator and has worked with Fitzpatrick before. Not only does Fitzpatrick know Gailey’s system, but his best success in the pros was in this system. In three seasons Fitzpatrick threw for more the 10,000 yards and 71 touchdowns in the new offense the Jets will run. Without Gailey, Fitzpatrick has only thrown for 52 touchdowns.

Now will Geno Smith be given ever opportunity to win the job out of camp? Yes, but this will be the final opportunity. Smith has the talent to be a very successful NFL quarterback, but has to show the consistency and mental toughness that are required to be effective at the position. With the new weapons around him and the attempt by the Jets to improve the offensive line, there will be no more excuses for Smith especially with a more than capable backup in Fitzpatrick.

Is New York a legitimate contender with Fitzpatrick? No, but they at least have a solid game manager who won’t turn the ball over and keep them in games. Wither way this is a defining year for Geno Smith. Either he will prove that he can be the future franchise quarterback for the Jets, or he will force New York to once again look for their first true franchise quarterback since Joe Namath.

New Flight Plan: Why The New York Jets Must Play Geno Smith

The Jets need to see if Geno Smith has anything to offer in the long-term

The Jets need to see if Geno Smith has anything to offer in the long-term

It’s a saying that has been used to describe the New York Jets 2014 season almost as much as “interception by Geno Smith”. That phrase is “the Jets have hit rock bottom”.

Here they are again! After being embarrassed for the second time this season by the Buffalo Bills in a 38-3 drubbing at Ford Field in Detroit on Monday Night Football, the 2-9 Jets have officially hit rock bottom. They’ve lost their best player to injury in Muhammad Wilkerson and had to turn from struggling veteran starter Michael Vick back to the incumbent Geno Smith. With five games left in this regrettable and lost season, the Jets should just let Geno Smith start the final games.

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Rex Ryan will be gone after the season and the organization is due for a major overhaul. With these last five games basically being a tryout for next years squad it just makes sense to start Smith. After sitting on the bench for a few weeks and realizing that his time with the Jets is now in the eleventh hour, Smith needs to play well over the final five games to prove that he should be in the mix for the starting job in 2015.

With the Jets seemingly on their way to a top five pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, if Smith wants to have any shot in New York next season he needs to finish the season with an exclamation point rather then a question mark. As the Jets starter smith has guided New York to a 9-15 record while throwing 19 touchdowns to 31 interceptions. Not exactly the numbers a team wants from their so-called franchise quarterback.

If Smith wants any shot with the Jets, or in the NFL in the long-run, he needs to go from game manager to playmaker. If he can throw and run for touchdowns while eliminating the costly mistakes that he has become well-known for, he might have a shot in the NFL.

Don’t get me wrong, Smith has great physical tools including a plus arm and great feet, but it’s the mental side of the game that worries me. This has been well documented this season whether he’s late for a meeting, or pouting on the sidelines, Geno Smith needs to prove over the final five games that he is a leader and takes being the general of the offense seriously.

It’s a long shot to think that the Jets won’t address the quarterback position this offseason, but in the present they need to evaluate Smith. While many of the offensive woes can be placed on Smith, people must realize that the entire roster is a mess.

Outside of the lack of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets offensive line outside of Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold has been a disaster. Then of course is the defense which has cornerbacks that probably shouldn’t be on an NFL roster let alone starting for the team and New York’s first round pick Calvin Pryor who has played so bad that the team has benched him.

The Jets are a disaster. There’s no way around that. However, with the plethora of problems on both sides of the ball and in the front office, ifGeno Smith can show some signs at life, it could give the organization a year to build up the rest of the roster around Smith and then make a decision on what to do at quarterback next year.

Is Geno Smith's replacement in the 2015 NFL Draft? Could Mariota or Winston be the next QB for the Jets?

Is Geno Smith’s replacement in the 2015 NFL Draft? Could Mariota or Winston be the next QB for the Jets?

However, if Smith plays like he has throughout his first 24 starts, then the Jets scouts will once again be looking for a quarterback at the combine for the third time in six years. Do I hear the Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston Jets rumors off in the distance?

Time to Go! John Idzik Needs to go as the New York Jets General Manager

If John Idzik does not address the cornerback position this week for the New York Jets he needs to be removed from the organization immediately. What is happening in New York is ridiculous. After failing to resign Antonio Cromartie or bring in an outside free agent cornerback, John Idzik has instead left both Rex Ryan and the New York Jets franchise out to dry.

With Milliner's injury, if Idzik still refuses to sign help at cornerback then he deserves to be fired

With Milliner’s injury, if Idzik still refuses to sign help at cornerback then he deserves to be fired

After Dee Milliner’s ruptured achilles this past weekend, the already thin cornerback position is now barren after New York’s top three cornerbacks on the depth chart are now gone. Dexter McDougle, a high Idzik draft pick, is out with an ACL tear and Dimitri Patterson went awol. Even if Idzik hasn’t purposefully tried to out Rex Ryan with an insufficient lineup, the fact that the rumor can exist is because of his actions as general manager. The Jets currently are $24 million dollars under the salary cap right now, the most in the NFL. Idzik, you can honestly look a Jets fan in the face right now and say you are doing everything you can with that much cap space available?

If John Idzik doesn’t sign a legitimate starter, and no Josh Thomas doesn’t count, then he deserves to be fired after the New England Patriots game. Who cares that the Jets are 1-5, if Idzik doesn’t sign a veteran player, which he should have done weeks ago, then he is basically giving Rex Ryan and Jets nation the middle finger by saying that he doesn’t care about this season.

There are plenty of options out there. Asante Samuels, Terrell Thomas, Jabari Greer, and Quentin Jammer are veterans who may be out of their prime, but at least are upgrades over the current roster. Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen have both given valiant efforts but they are out of their element. At best, Walls is a slot corner or a third or four option on the depth chart. Allen, on the other hand, is a versatile role player but is better suited to play safety. Listen, the Jets have many problems and while Geno Smith and Rex Ryan haven’t helped in 2014, the person to blame for the Jets disaster is Idzik.

What has John Idzik done for the Jets outside of drafting Sheldon Richardson? Let’s look at the 2013 Draft. Dee Milliner can’t stay on the field and he passed on Chance Warmack who could have helped shore up the woeful offensive line. He selected Geno Smith in round two, who the Jets organization maybe looking to move on from at the quarterback position at the end of the season.

Idzik's build so the Draft strategy was good in principle, bad in execution

Idzik’s build so the Draft strategy was good in principle, bad in execution

Idzik then proceeded to draft three offensive linemen in a row. Brian Winters has been a turnstile at left guard, Oday Aboushi will finally get a start this week, and William Campbell is gone. Not to mention in round three the Jets passed on wide receivers Terrance Williams and Keenan Allen, two receivers the Jets could have really used.

In 2014, Idzik once again said the Jets would build through the draft adding only Eric Decker, Michael Vick, and Chris Johnson in free agency. In Round one he took a very promising safety in Calvin Pryor, who has been a solid player. However, the Jets could have selected either Kelvin Benjamin or Brandin Cooks who have both become very good play-making receivers and who could have helped Geno Smith develop.

After a good pick in Jace Amaro in round two, the Jets draft feel to shambles. Once again Idzik drafted a cornerback with a history of injuries in Dexter McDougle who couldn’t even make it through training camp. Oh the next pick? Gabe Jackson who is establishing himself as a great young guard with the Raiders.

Then instead of trading up in the draft with the plethora of picks in the draft, Idzik stood pat and it looks that costed the Jets. Out of the last nine picks, five are no longer in the organization with only Trevor Reiley and suiting up for all six games. When you wanna build through the draft it doesn’t help that out of 19 picks in his tenure only six are starters while another six are no longer in the organization.

While Rex Ryan will probably be fired at the end of the season, there is no question that Idzik especially after the recent slew of injuries does nothing to help the team at the cornerback position, deserves to get the boot. It’s going to be a long season for New York, but if it wants to head in the right direction for 2015 it needs a new general manager who cares about the team calling the shots.

Down With the Ship! Will Rex Ryan’s Faith in Geno Smith Cost Him His Job?

When Rex Ryan stood at the podium after another Jets loss this past Sunday, Jets fans were hoping for the words “Vick will start”. Instead they got a coach who dug in his heels for his quarterback and in the process only turned up the heat on his own coaching hot seat. Despite the pleas of “we want Vick” raining down from the Jets fans on Sunday afternoon the Jets head coach once again decided to stick with Geno when in reality Ryan has basically decided to go down with the ship.
“I’m confident in Geno. If Geno is healthy, Geno will start” said Rex in the press conference. Ryan refused to even say if Vick would be considered to play if Smith struggled again. Rex Ryan is without question one of the most player loyal coaches in the NFL. However, this loyalty could be his undoing.

Since John Idzik was announced as the New York Jets general manager Rex Ryan has been on thin ice. Don’t forget, it wasn’t until after the final game last season when it was announced that he would be back as head coach. With Woody Johnson already saying this is a playoff or bust season it is puzzling why Rex Ryan continues to have faith in Geno Smith after his quarterback continues to make big mistakes that have cost the Jets wins. Not to mention Geno appears to be cracking under pressure as he reportedly swore at a fan walking off the field on Sunday.

The worst part of all this? Looking back at these first four games people can make the strong case that the Jets should be 4-0. Instead Smith’s costly turnovers coupled with defensive collapses, a defense which is supposed to be Ryan’s baby, has left the Jets at 1-3.

Momentum is everything in the NFL, and right now Rex is going in the wrong direction. After those back to back AFC Championship appearances in his first two season Ryan has not been back to the playoffs and has a 23- 29 record over his past four seasons. Unless Idzik and Johnson have told Ryan that he is safe past this year, or that the plan is to develop Geno not matter what, then Rex needs to make the playoffs.

Unless Ryan turns the Jets around fast New York could be looking for anew head coach

Unless Ryan turns the Jets around fast New York could be looking for anew head coach

Let’s not forget outside of defense the Jets offense has been a disaster under Rex’s tenure. Who has Rex Ryan successfully developed as an offensive player? Sanchez? nope. Smith? not yet. What about Hill, Greene, or McKnight? Unfortunately despite Ryan’s great defensive mind he is still a defensive coordinator as a head coach. He refuses to take responsibility for the offense even though a head coach needs to be accountable for all assets of a football team. Can you blame Ryan for the holes in his roster especially at cornerback? No, but the roster has only been part of the problem. Most of the problems are costly penalties and turnovers.

Sure benching Vick could be a blow to Smith’s confidence, but at this point Ryan needs to send a message that if you don’t perform, you don’t play. It’s that simple as a coach if players aren’t performing and there is a talented player on the bench who can help the team’s performance, you have to let that player play. I know, I know, that Vick is no long-term solution, but if the Jets keep falling and are out of playoff contention early, it maybe time for New York to let Ryan walk.

Believe me, I personally love Rex Ryan and think he is a talented coach and a great defensive mind. Still, if he cannot turn this season around and stays with players who are hurting the team’s performance it maybe time for a new coach of the New York Jets.

Sit Geno! Why the New York Jets Need to Start Michael Vick

After another heartbreaking loss for the New York Jets this past Monday to the Chicago Bears, it may be time for Rex Ryan to go with veteran Michael Vick to save the 2014 season. After two games where the Jets were in prime position to win, they instead find themselves asking what happened after losing both games.

Vick time in NYC?

Vick time in NYC?

Realistically the Jets could be a 3-0 football team right now instead of being 1-2. The biggest problem? The secondary has had it’s fair share of problems but it is still not the number one problem for Gang Green. Simply put the turner overs.

In my personal opinion I think Geno has shown improvement in both the passing game and as a leader, yet he still has a long way to go. Despite his flashes Smith still turns the ball over way too much. After three games Smith has four interceptions and two fumbles, with three of those turnovers occurring in the red zone.  Three touchdowns to six turnovers isn’t exactly a flattering stat line.

The Jets have proven that they can run the football very effectively while playing solid defense in the first three games. However, the turnovers have killed this team in the early going and has cost them games.

Time for Smith to take a seat?

Time for Smith to take a seat?

Listen, Geno Smith can still develop into a good starter in this league but needs to be pulled off the field. Michael Vick is this team’s best chance to win right now. Does Vick historically have problems turning the ball over? Yes, but his best season was with Marty Mornhinweg in Philadelphia. If anything Geno Smith should watch Vick and learn the nuances of the offense from the bench.

Has Smith played better than last season? Yes, but it’s the mistakes and turnovers that are killing this offense. Not to mention this was an 8-8 team last season and that does not make the playoffs.

If Smith runs backwards for another 15 yard sack Rex Ryan might start stress eating again. Geno Smith has shown a lot of nice things this season such as his ability to run and extend plays and better passing ability, but he still has many things to work on.  Don’t forget Smith is still a very young quarterback and has plenty of years ahead of him if he can properly develop. Michael Vick on the other hand still has something left in the tank and could be the missing piece to this offense. With the shootouts the Jets could be in the next few weeks, it only makes sense to put in a quarterback who can move the ball effectively in this offensive system.

If the Jets want to rebound and turnaround the season, Rex Ryan should put Vick into the starting role to see what he can do.

 

ELIte? Manning not an Elite Quarterback?

Eli Manning an elite quarterback? I’m not buying it.Eli-Manning-Manning-Face-Hall-Of-Fame-Game Throughout his career Manning has always flirted with the elite status bouncing from Super Bowl hero to an interception machine. Entering his eleventh season in the NFL it is safe to say that Eli Manning is not an elite quarterback.

For the Giants fans who are most certainly screaming at the top of their lungs that this is blasphemy there are many reasons that Eli is not an elite quarterback. However, he is still a very good quarterback and probably a top ten quarterback in this league. This is why he is not an elite quarterback.

Most critics would argue that the two Super Bowl rings that Manning has accumulated is proof that he is an elite quarterback. Well, not exactly. True it is one more ring then his brother Peyton, who is clearly the more talented of the two, but this is misleading.

In 2011 there is no question that Eli carried that Giants team to the Super Bowl and played a superb game against the Patriots. Even in 2007 he did have a good postseason. The problem? The Giants defense carried them throughout those playoffs and in the Super Bowl. Let’s not forget that the Giants’ defense allowed only 14 points to a Patriots offense which, before this years Broncos, had scored the most points in a season. If the Giants didn’t beat the Patriots when the defense held Brady and company to 14 points you don’t think Eli would have been run out-of-town?

Another reason why Eli is not elite is he is one of the streakiest quarterbacks I have ever seen. He’s either on or off, nowhere in between. Just look at his postseason career. In his two Super Bowl runs Manning threw 15 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. His other postseason starts have been disasters. Not only are the Giants one and down in those playoffs but Manning has only 2 touchdowns to 5 interceptions.

When we think of elite quarterbacks they are consistent. We all know what to expect out of elite signal callers like Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Brees, and Brady ever season. Eli is either great or terrible. Last season was the third time in his career where he led the NFL in interceptions. Put it this way, Geno Smith threw less interceptions as a rookie with less talent around him then Eli Manning with a better team and who has played in the NFL over ten years. I’m sorry, but elite players don’t lead the league in mistakes three times.

Manning still is a capable quarterback. He still is a great quarterback in the fourth quarter and two-minute drill. Also, when he is on he is one of the best in the game. Unfortunately for Manning, the Giants offense is rebuilding and he does;t have the pieces to be a contender. Unless Eli can finish his career strong and with some consistency, he will never be considered an elite NFL quarterback.