Why Geno Smith isn’t to blame for Jets’ struggles

Despite Geno Smith’s benching against the Dolphins, it isn’t his fault that the Jets offense has been a disaster. There are many reasons why Geno Smith has struggled in 2013 and why it’s the New York Jets fault that the rookie has looked lost in recent weeks.

  • forget aerial assault, the Jets can't even get off the ground with these receivers

    forget aerial assault, the Jets can’t even get off the ground with these receivers

    Receivers: Quick question, who is an NFL caliber receiver on the New York Jets? I’d be hard pressed to name one. Geno’s struggles began when Jeremy Kerley was injured a few weeks ago. Without question Kerley has been the Jets best and most consistent receiver this season. The problem? At best he’s a great slot receiver. He is not a number one or two target in the NFL. Stephen Hill? I think I saw his picture on a milk carton because he has been disappeared for over a month. Holmes? He can’t stay healthy and has lacked the big play ability that the Jets are overpaying him for. I think this is one Jet who won’ t be back in 2014. Salas and Nelson? Not even NFL scouts know who they are. While Geno has been inaccurate, it’s not like his receivers have done him any favors. Without question the Jets have the worst group of receivers in the NFL.

  • Tight end? more like dead end

    Tight end? more like dead-end

    Any NFL rookie quarterback needs a security blanket. Enter the tight end whose size and presence in the middle of the field allows for an easy check down for a rookie quarterback. The Jets tight ends have been big problems instead of big targets. Kellen Winslow missed four games due to a suspension and has continued to prove why he’s a first round bust. Cumberland has been solid, but is a number two tight end at best. Mini Gronk? No impact. If anything this position has hurt Geno’s development. With a lack of weapons on the outside Geno looks to the middle of the field for check downs to his tight ends. However, they are never open. Even Sanchez had Dustin Keller to check down to. Geno on the other hand just has a bunch of cast-offs who shouldn’t be on this team next year.

  • Ground and pound?

    Ground and pound?

    Running Game: In Mark Sanchez’s first few seasons he had some of the better running backs in the league. Geno Smith, not so much. While Powell and Ivory have had a few good performances this year, their inconsistency and inability to break big runs and run the ball effective early in the game has hurt the Jets. Oh, and to Marty Mornhinweg STOP RUNNING THE WILDCAT! No body does this anymore, it doesn’t work, and you never throw out of it. Stop! While Ivory and Powell have shown flashes, they are not every down backs. As number two backs the would be great, but the Jets lack a home run hitting number one back. Without a solid running game, the Jets haven’t helped Smith get into more manageable situations and allow him to utilize the play action pass.

  • Can they block anybody?

    Can they block anybody?

    Offensive line: In recent weeks the once vaunted Jets offensive line has been manhandled. Pro Bowlers Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson have looked like shells of their former selves, while rookie Brian Winters has struggled to pick up blitzes and Willie Colon continues to get dumb penalties. Geno Smith has been getting killed these past few weeks and I can’t even remember a play when he had time to throw. As a young quarterback when your under pressure every drop back, your thinking about survival not throwing a 15 yard post. While the pass protection has been brutal, the run blocking hasn’t helped either. They can’t protect or create holes in the running game. You can’t have a shaky foundation and expect to have a productive offense.

  • A GM that left his future quarterback out to dry.

    A GM that left his future quarterback out to dry.

    Front Office: Ok, I know John Idzik didn’t have a lot of cap room to bring in free agents. I’ll give him a pass on that, but I can’t forgive the man for his first draft. While Sheldon Richardson has been great, this draft did little if nothing to help Geno Smith. With the ninth pick, instead of picking the frustrating Dee Milliner, the Jets had better options. They could have drafted a tight end, or one of the interior linemen like Warmack or Long to solidify the offensive line. Then in the third round they could have drafted Keenan Allen or Terrance Williams at receiver instead of Brian Winters. With a crucial draft, Idzik didn’t exactly help out his young QB and instead focused on three offensive linemen how haven’t panned out.

  • The hot seat is heating up for Rex Ryan

    The hot seat is heating up for Rex Ryan

    Coaching: Rex Ryan knows defense. Developing a quarterback, not so much. While Marty Morninweg is the offensive coordinator, it is Rex’s job as the head coach to get the offense going. Instead of playing to Geno’s strengths by rolling him out of the pocket, or having him in the shot-gun with spread wide receivers, the Jets keep calling plays that make you scratch your head. Instead of trying to get Geno going early with quick passes or screens, the Jets keep running the ball for marginal gains. Then when they fall behind they put Geno Smith in passing situations when he hasn’t even gotten into a rhythm. I;m not say throw the ball fifty times, but get Geno going early so that he gets a rhythm going in the game.

  • Geno does deserve the blame, but he has been given too much blame

    Geno does deserve the blame, but he has been given too much blame

    Conclusion: While Smith deserves a certain amount of blame, he is getting an unfair amount. This has been the perfect storm of futility. I don’t care if your Manning, Brees, Brady, or Rodgers, you couldn’t have success with this offensive personnel. The fact that Geno has five wins with this lackluster cast should get him some praise. However, with the offensive futility continuing in New York, and Jets nation waiting for a long overdue franchise quarterback, Geno Smith has been put in an almost no win situation. Keep him in to get reps this season and to develop. But he’s going to succeed, the man needs help. It’s just a matter of when or if the Jets will give him the pieces he needs to be an effective NFL quarterback.

     

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Do Over! The 5 worst draft picks in the Rex Ryan era

Rex may be a mastermind with defense, but he's no draft guru

Rex may be a mastermind with defense, but he’s no draft guru

With the draft only 40 days away it’s clear that if the 2013 New York Jets are going to avoid another crash landing of a season they need to hit a home run in the draft. Despite clearing up cap room the Jets have been losing players in a mass “rexodus” during free agency. Dustin Keller will take his talents to South Beach, while Mike Devito, Yeremiah Bell, Laron Landry, and Shonn Greene have all found new homes. The Jets biggest signings Willie Colon, David Garrard, and Mike Goodson, are not exactly Super Bowl winning moves by any stretch. There’s also a soap opera with a certain all pro corner that the Jets are trying to move in order to gain more draft picks. What is clear is that if the Jets want to compete next year they must have a great draft. However, the Jets track record during the Ryan era hasn’t been great as the team has had the fewest picks in the league while getting marginal talent. At least when Eric Mangini was the coach he brought in Revis, Mangold, Ferguson, Keller, and Harris just to name a few. Here is the list of the worst draft picks of the Rex Ryan era

5) Stephen Hill: WR 2nd round pick 2012

The Jets hope that the potential will eventually turn into production

The Jets hope that the potential will eventually turn into production

Ok I know Hill has only been in the league for one season but the Jets need to start drafting for production, not potential. While he still has major upside, when asked to step up and be a go to receiver this past season he fell flat on his face. Hill had 21 catches for 3 touchdowns this season and was plagued by major drops coupled with an inability to run routes. What hurts is that the Jets should have drafted Alshon Jeffrey who had 8 touchdown catches and showed big play ability for the Bears. This is another example of the Jets trading down for a player who might develop 3 to 4 years down the road. While Hill hasn’t shown the production despite the skill set, the silver lining is that Calvin Johnson took three years to start dominating in this NFL and the hope is that Hill could follow a similar path and become the big play threat gang green envisioned him becoming.

4) John Conner: FB: 5th round 2010

From terminator to terminated

From terminator to terminated

John “the terminator” Conner was supposed to be the fullback of the future. Now the terminator has been terminated by the Jets as the glorified fullback never lived up to expectations. John Conner became famous because of his appearance on Hark Knocks, click the link, where he became one of Ryan’s favorite players. However, it became apparent that while Conner  could deliver punishing hits he often would miss blocking assignments and never opened up  holes for the running game. The glorified fullback of the Jets became overhyped especially because fullbacks aren’t supposed to be well-known. Either way this fifth round pick could have been used to add depth or they could have added the bruising running back Anthony Dixon who was later drafted by the 49ers.

3) Kyle Wilson: CB 1st round pick 29th overall 2010 draft

The first pick in arguably one of the worst  drafts in team history

The first pick in arguably one of the worst drafts in team history

Well the 2010 draft was the worst of Ryan’s era. 3 of the 4 picks are on this list and the first one of this draft was Kyle Wilson. While the 2010 draft wasn’t exactly the most talented draft this move was a head scratcher. Even though Revis would hold out, the Jets traded for Cornerback Antonio Cromartie to line up alongside him. Why did the Jets need another corner? What the Jets should have tried to do was trade down to add more picks to an already slim number of draft picks. Then they could have added talented players like Terrence Cody, Dexter McCluster, or Brandon Spikes who were available in the second round. Wilson has never lived up the to hype as a great corner in this league and while he was a solid corner in 2012 he’s always left something to be desired.  He has only produced 3 interceptions in his three-year tenure and while he could be a starting corner for the 2013 squad I feel the Jets could do better. Maybe he’ll make the jump this season and start becoming a great corner, but I’m skeptical. The reason he is on this list is because in my opinion that with his skill set and performance the Jets could have picked up a similar player in the middle of the draft instead of wasting a first round pick.

2) Mark Sanchez: QB 5th overall in 2009 draft:

It's put up or shut up time for the Sanchize

It’s put up or shut up time for the Sanchize

Ah yes the Sanchize. While many of you will probably argue that he is the worst selection of the Ryan era, you probably have a very good case. I too thought about making him number one on this list but this is why he narrowly misses the cut. He has brought this team to two AFC championship games and has 4-2 playoff record with a 9-3 touchdown to interception ratio in the playoffs. While he was awful in 2012, highlighted by the “Buttfumble” (click on the link) you have to feel sorry for the guy because he had no help. The result of the Jets’ lack of draft picks left them with minimal depth especially at wide receiver. When he had talent, Sanchez was a serviceable quarterback. The problem is he hasn’t progressed as expected and hasn’t emerged as a star quarterback that you’d expect with the fifth overall selection. Add in that the Jets traded three players and their first and second round selections to get Sanchez means that the Jets have paid a steep price for mediocrity. While Sanchez’s Jets career is in jeopardy in 2013 maybe the competition and the prospectus of a strong draft class can help him take another step in his development. This is the make it or break it year for Sanchez and if he wants to escape this list in the future he better hold onto the ball and be better than a career 68-69 touchdown to interception ratio.

1) Vladimir Ducasse: OL 2010 second round selection 62nd overall

Vlad has been bad!!!!

Vlad has been bad!!!!

The “P” word once again enticed the Jets to draft for potential over a finished product. Vladimir Ducasse is the poster boy for the worst draft in Ryan era in 2010 when the Jets reached for him in the second round. A very raw prospect that scouts predicted would take years to develop the Jets thought he would be able to start after the release of Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca. How did this turn out Jets fans? For a lineman who was projected to be a mid round selection the Jets took on a project in the second round of a draft where the had only four picks. In his career Ducasse has made one start and has been embarrassed by opposing defenses whenever he is on the field. The Jets foolishly decided not to trade this pick to try to grab more depth in the later rounds and the lack of depth from the 2009 and 2010 drafts caught up with them in the 2012 season. While Ducasse will compete for a starting role in 2013 for a second rounder he should be starting at this point and not be a question mark. Maybe the project going forward will finally become a polished NFL starter but I’m skeptical. Looking back at this draft the Jets Passed great linebackers like Brandon Spikes and Navorro Bowman who would’ve tremendously improved the defense. There were also talented players later on the Jets should have traded down for like Jimmy Graham,or Aaron Hernandez. Overall Ducasse has been a bust and unlike Sanchez has been a glorified bench warmer. Here’s hoping the Jets 2013 draft will be much better. Do you agree or disagree with these selections? Who do you think I missed? Don’t forget to subscribe and comment below Thanks.