Despite all evidence to the contrary, New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles believes Geno Smith is capable of running an NFL offense.
Speaking with the New York Daily News, Bowles downplayed the importance of the quarterback position as it pertains to winning but threw some support behind Smith as a potential “good starter.”
“I think Geno can be a good starter, but he’s got to prove it in training camp like everybody else,” Bowles told The News. “It’s not just about the quarterback position. You got to have a team around that position to play ball, but he’s been in the system a year. He has a better grasp of it going into training camp and we’ll see what he does.”
Okay, so we’ll classify this as tenuous support, with a caveat.
Truly, the only way one can logically look at the situation the Jets are facing this summer at the quarterback position is that the defense better be darn good. Because the offense is likely to suffer a tremendous setback compared to last year’s outstanding numbers if Smith is the man behind center when the season gets under way.
Granted, there is a chance the former West Virginia star comes out and wows us. But based on what we saw from Smith his first few campaigns in the NFL, nobody should hold their breath waiting for this to happen. During his first three seasons, he has completed an abysmal 57.9 percent of his passes, throwing 27 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.
The Jets are in between a rock and a hard place right now, because incumbent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is clearly not interested in playing this season at the price tag the Jets have set for his potential services. He reportedly threatened to sit out the entire season rather than accept the offer that is on the table ($12 million for 2016, $6 million for 2017 and 2018).
After signing Muhammad Wilkerson to a huge deal that freed up some cap space, the Jets could potentially up their offer. They’d be smart to do it, too. Because the honest truth is that this team won’t make the playoffs if Smith is the quarterback.
With Fitzpatrick, the Jets have a shot, but it seems general manager Mike Maccagnan will stick to his guns and refuse to give the veteran what he feels is a fair offer.
In light of this, the only thing left for the Jets to do is talk up Smith and pray they don’t look foolish in the end for refusing to bend to Fitzpatrick’s will.