The Great QB Controversy of 2016
So Geno is starting for the Jets. At the beginning of the season I felt Fitz was the superior QB. I actually still think that, but I agree with the Jets now that Geno should start. Fitzpatrick might be a better QB, but he’s not superior enough to justify everything else as I thought he would be, even as bad Fitz. There is a chance Geno actually is better, and at this point, you might as well see what he’s got.
But honestly what I think the most interesting thing about all this is just how badly the Jets have managed the QB situation overall for the better part of a full decade. Over multiple coaches. Multiple GMs. I don’t know if a team has managed the position as badly as the Jets. The Browns? Bad draft choices and support and some rotten luck. Bills? Bad choices in players, paying Fitz, but the Jets did that too. Lets look at this, starting with Rex Ryan.
Ryan started off with Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez worked out for a while. His flaws were easily masked by a stellar defense. Then things started to fall apart, and Tebow happened. The Jets bring in Tebow, seemingly against Rex’s wishes mostly to appease a headline desiring owner, and proceed to have one of the most laughable seasons around. Sanchez is terrible. Rex is at war with the ownership about Tebow. Sanchez runs into a butt and keeps starting. When Rex does play a different QB, he skips over Tebow entirely and plays Greg McElroy instead. Everything blows up. Rex somehow keeps his job. The Jets draft Geno Smith, widely considered the weakest top QB prospect in years. Hey, at least they picked him in the second instead of picking EJ Manuel! (Lol Bills). McElroy by the way doesn’t last.
Now things get real fun. Sanchez gets hurt. Geno is thrust into an impossible situation. Rex is a dead coach yelling. He has no weapons. No support. Geno, if he does have talent, never stands a chance. So the Jets jettison Sanchez and replace him with a broken old Michael Vick. Geno sucks, so they start Vick. Vick isn’t good. Geno seems pouty about it all but is back at starter at the end of the season and has a real good game against the Dolphins, seemingly lining him up as the de-facto future.
Now things get really fun. The Jets fire Rex and pick up Todd Bowles, who has no loyalty to Smith. Todd Bowles and the new GM then draft another QB, Bryce Petty. But it was round 4, so Petty isn’t immediately viewed as a threat to Geno. They have QB slots to fill. The Jets then go out and sign Fitzpatrick, another veteran, who also isn’t expected to be a threat to Geno. Then Geno gets punched in the face and everything goes to hell.
Fitz gets the job. He plays okay. Bowles clearly supports Fitz. Geno doesn’t see the field. Fitz almost leads the Jets to the playoffs and plays better than Geno ever has. Geno, stuck on the bench despite being healthy, is clearly unhappy, what should be his team is now no longer his. But Fitz is a one year rental. Maybe now he’ll get his chance. The Jets enter the 2016 offseason. They clearly want Fitz back but don’t know if they’ll get him, so they decide to draft another QB, (the 3rd in 4 years) Christian Hackenberg (lol) and they spend a second round pick on Hack, which is too high and difficult to ignore as anything but a threat to Geno. Then the Jets spend the entire offseason ignoring Geno and trying to get Fitzpatrick. They do. Fitz starts the season and surprise, he sucks. All part of the cycle baby.
Now the Jets have a costly 1 year rental who they can’t start because he’s a disaster. They have a disgruntled and mistreated young QB who is on the last season of his contract and likely wants to leave, even if he plays well. They have an injured second year draftee who hasn’t seen any action and wasn’t highly viewed to begin with, and they have a rookie who is named Christian Hackenberg and lol can you believe the Jets spent a 2nd round pick on Christian Hackenberg? At the end of this season, the Jets will likely be left with Hack and Petty. The Jets have so royally screwed themselves at QB, and the team is falling apart around the QB position anyway. Decker is on IR. The defense is terrible. Bowles looks lost. It’s astounding.
I’ve been mean to Geno a lot but a part of me is rooting for him to show the Jets what he was worth the whole time, because they’ve been about as mean to him as I have, only they are his employers and I’m just an asshole on the internet.