The rumblings you hear are from Jets fans and some members of the media clamoring for the team to bench rookie quarterback Geno Smith in favor of Matt Simms.
It’s time to put the breaks on those thoughts for now, because Smith has shown the ability to play the position well. The turnovers—he has 11 in four games—are unacceptable, but rookie quarterbacks are going to make mistakes.
Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions his rookie season. Although it’s not a fair comparison, it just goes to prove that a majority of rookie quarterbacks are going to have growing pains.
Jets coach Rex Ryan was clearly upset with the performance of Smith, using the word “shock” to describe it. But as of right now, sitting Smith in favor of Simms isn’t likely at the forefront of Ryan’s thinking.
That notwithstanding, Ryan and his offensive staff need to impress upon Smith the importance of ball security. Turnovers can wreck games and seasons. They will also get you on the wrong side of the fans.
Just ask Mark Sanchez. It got so bad for Sanchez last season that he was getting booed during pre-game introductions.
Smith won’t have to worry about Sanchez, who reportedly decided to undergo season-ending surgery on his shoulder. That leaves Smith, Simms and Brady Quinn as the quarterbacks.
With the possibility of Quinn starting for the Jets slim and Jets management still not 100 percent convinced Simms is the answer, the job belongs to Smith. But Ryan, who wants to save his job or at least set himself up for another head coaching position in the future, can’t let Smith get too comfortable.
If pulling Smith after a bad first half will help, so be it. But putting him on the bench in favor of a backup with no NFL experience won’t help anyone.
Smith will need to hold onto the ball and make better decisions if the Jets (2-2) are to have any shot against the Falcons this Monday night in Atlanta.