The brutal week New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith is having continues to get worse with the team announcing that it plans to start Mark Sanchez when they square off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week two of the preseason. After the Jets selected Smith, fans hoped he would immediately become the savior of the franchise and lead them to the promised land in his rookie season. So far he is yet to blossom into the star many expected, and in fact appears to be losing the starting quarterback battle.
His terrible week began after the former West Virginia star made his NFL debut against the Detroit Lions. Completing 6 of 7 passes in his brief appearance on paper looks like an effective outing. However it was not as impressive as one would think. He failed to score any points, and only produced 47 passing yards for a paltry 6.7 yards per attempt. Making matters worse, the mobile passer injured his ankle when he attempted to show off his versatility and escape the pocket.
Attempting to shrug off his debut, and the fact that head coach Rex Ryan opted to start the ‘Sanchize’ over the rookie, Geno Smith then tried to show improvement during this week’s practice. Instead of taking over the starting role for week 2 of the preseason and evening up the New York quarterback competition, Geno Smith instead fell further behind Mark Sanchez.
On the second to last day of training camp practice, Geno Smith had his worst day as a New York Jet. Coach Rex Ryan did not hold back his disappointment when asked about the rookie and his three interceptions during Wednesday’s practice. As NJ.com reports, the coach described Smith’s day:
“It was brutal. That was Geno’s worst day. Obviously, the ankle is part of it, but way too many picks. Did not look comfortable today. Obviously, he has to come back from it. He will come back from it. But it was a bad day. Guys have bad days, but this was a really bad day for Geno. It was a bad day today. There’s no other way to put it. It was a bad day. Was I disappointed he had the day like he did today? Absolutely. These days happen, but you don’t expect them to happen.”
They say that bad things come in threes, and the third thing to go wrong for Geno Smith was announced on Thursday. The New York Jets announced that they are starting Mark Sanchez over Geno Smith when the team squares off against the Jacksonville Jaguars for its week 2 preseason game.
Citing the strong play of Mark Sanchez, as well as Smith’s injured ankle and poor play as reasons for the move, Rex Ryan is still refraining from formally announcing the incumbent as the team’s 2013 starter. But this is a strong indication that the battle has tipped into the former USC Trojan’s favor.
If Geno Smith wants to turn the tide and earn the starting job this season, he has to find a way to get on the field in game situations and prove his worth. Practice is one thing, but game action is where stars are born. Sanchez performed brilliantly in the Jets preseason opener after throwing a pick six early. Smith has not impressed at all in game action, and will need a strong showing in any action he has from here on out if he wants to start in the regular season.
For now, Sanchez appears to be leading in the Jets quarterback battle. Geno Smith has the ability to come back and earn the right to start, however for now it appears he is falling farther and farther behind.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express