Hackin’ the NYJ by Nolan Hack: Your Week 1 Starter
Geno Smith has to be the guy come Week 1. The Jets can't go back to Mark Sanchez, and that's exactly what they'd be doing if they end up starting Sanchez again. They'd be going backwards. If the Jets had a guy like Matt Flynn or Kevin Kolb instead of Sanchez, then it would be different. If that were the case, the team could have a competition between a guy like Kolb or Flynn with Geno Smith and would have the best man win.
Smith has a ways to go to be a viable starter in the NFL. Before the draft I was looking at the NFL rosters and thinking that unless a team like the Jets or Jaguars draft him, Geno shouldn't be starting out of the gate. The Jets know what they have in Sanchez, a guy who has proven time and time again that he isn't worthy of a starting job.
Geno Smith is the better option by default. To me he's the only option. Sanchez is just that bad. It gets to a point as a franchise, where you need to admit you were wrong on a high draft choice… especially when it's a quarterback! The Jets invested a lot in Sanchez and it's clear they made a mistake in doing so. The 2 straight AFC title game appearances had much more to do with those team's defenses and run offense anyway. The Jets were 1st in points allowed in 2009 and 6th in 2010. Not to mention, Gang Green was 1st in 2009 and 4th in rushing yards in 2010. Sanchez completed less than 55% of his passes in both seasons. Sanchez did have some success in the playoffs, but he's regressed a great deal since then and has never been a reliable option in the regular season.
Like a good number of people, I believe that if it weren't for Sanchez's ridiculous cap number, he would have already been cut. 37%, 47%, 45%, 45%, 52%, 41%, 48%, 46%, and 49%. Those are completion percentage numbers from Sanchez in 9 different games, last season. The Jets were 2-7 in those contests; and in one of those wins, Greg McElroy finished the game for a struggling Sanchez.
Sanchez has never completed 60 percent of his passes in an NFL season. Smith gives the Jets a quarterback who has real potential in addition to athleticism. He also gives the team better arm talent at the QB position, as opposed to Sanchez. Smith threw less than 10 interceptions as a sophomore, junior and senior at West Virginia. Sanchez has thrown at least 18 interceptions, in three of his last four seasons. And while the NFL game is obviously tougher than college ball, those are still eye opening numbers. If Smith gets the nod come Week 1, Jets fans won't have to be as worried about an opposing cornerback having the pigskin fall in his lap.
Whoever the starting quarterback is for the New York Jets, he's going to struggle; but the Jets would be better off giving the keys to rookie Geno Smith from the get go.
-Written by Nolan Hack