As the New York Jets prepare for their second preseason game the biggest story remains the quarterback competition between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. Both of the signal callers have had good and bad days of practice but according to the head coach there is no clear cut “leader” in the competition. That is until Wednesday when Rex Ryan ripped Geno Smith for his “brutal” practice. The Jets head coach was very critical of Smith offering the following quotes:
“It was brutal, that was Geno’s worst day. Obviously the ankle is part of it. (He threw) way too many picks and things. (He) 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. We’ve seen it, guys have bad days, but this was a really bad day for Geno.”
“I think there’s still work to be done. To definitively win the job, there definitely needs to be more evidence.”
“Was I disappointed he had the day like he did today, absolutely. I guess, these days happen, but you don’t expect them to happen.”
To say that some of these comments are surprising is an understatement especially considering the fact that Mark Sanchez (a fifth year player) has had his share of issues in training camp and in the first preseason game. The comments can also make some wonder if Rex Ryan is mishandling Geno Smith and the quarterback competition.
If Smith’s ankle is clearly bothering him and he did not look comfortable, then why is he practicing?
If the coaching staff needs more evidence of Geno’s abilities why was he basically handcuffed by the playcalling in the first preseason game? Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg openly admitted that he scaled back the playbook for Geno to “evaluate other players.”
If this is a true quarterback competition why would Geno Smith not be given the start on Saturday night to showcase his abilities with the first string offense?
Has Mark Sanchez become immune to harsh criticism? His pick six against the Lions was inexcusable and he could have had another one if not bailed out by Kellen Winslow.
Rex Ryan is walking a fine line with how he is handling his quarterbacks. It is becoming evident that the Jets head coach is leaning towards naming Mark Sanchez the starter for week one. In the meantime Geno Smith should be given every opportunity to take the job away from Sanchez. It is all about competition isn’t it Rex?