Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The argument for Geno Smith to start
By Brent Sobleski
UPDATE: Former Jet Bart Scott may believe Mark Sanchez needs to open the season as the Jets quarterback, but the argument can be made it's in the team's best interest to start Geno Smith.
"First things first: No matter what they might say, the Jets do not believe Geno Smith is a surefire franchise quarterback," Andy Benoit of SportsIllustrated.com wrote.
"That said, it would be almost nonsensical for the Jets not to start Smith in Week 1."
Benoit's premise is based in the unknown instead of relying on the known commodity. Smith may not have been seen as an elite quarterback prospect, but he has upside. Upside which has yet to be tapped. Sanchez, meanwhile, has a well-known history with the team.
Smith received the majority of snaps the past two days in camp according to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York. Smith will get an opportunity to prove himself against the Giants Saturday. If the rookie quarterback performs well, he could get the nod to open the season.
Bart Scott was an integral part of the New York Jets the past four seasons. Scott is now an analyst. Scott certainly knows the Jets well, and he believes Mark Sanchez should open the season as the team's starter at quarterback. But he doesn't believe he's the answer in New York.
"They have to start Sanchez," Scott told Bob Glauber of the Long Island Newsday. "You can't put a rookie out there. [Smith] isn't getting enough plays on the field for you to really evaluate it.
"Geno had a chance until he hurt his ankle (in the first preseason game). I think that injury messed him up. So you don't want to feed him to the wolves too early. The beginning of their schedule is brutal, so you have to go with Mark to try to steal a couple of games in the first half of the season.
"Once the boo birds start calling for Geno, [the Jets] are going to give him the opportunity if they're not winning, The second half of the season, the schedule lightens up, so it's easier for Geno to look good against lighter competition. Mark is probably gone after this season anyway, but he's still motivated because he's fighting to make sure he doesn't become a career backup."
It's important to note a former player close to those within the Jets' locker room believe Sanchez is "probably gone after this season."
The general consensus from other former Jets stayed in line with Scott's thoughts. The team is simply better prepared to enter the season with Sanchez behind center. If Sanchez falters early, Smith will eventually get his chance. Or if Sanchez performs well, the rookie can continue to learn from the bench.