"Today we made the decision to go with Geno as the quarterback, and just so we all are aware, understand that everybody is on board with this decision,” said Ryan. “Now is the opportunity for him to step back in and let’s see how it goes. So I for one, I am excited to watch him.”
Ryan also refuted reports that he wanted to start Michael Vick and was overruled by Jets general Manager John Idzik.
“100 percent, no he did not (make me choose Smith over Vick)."At 2-9, there was really no right decision on who to start as both quarterbacks have had their good moments as well as their struggles this season. Vick looked bad in Monday’s loss going 7-19 with 76 yards and an interception. All which amounted to a quarterback rating of 27.5.
Smith who replaced Vick after he was kicked in the calf by a Bills defender in the third quarter, looked much better than his last outing against Buffalo, in which he threw three interceptions in his first four series. Smith finished the game 10-12 for 89 yards totaling a 97.6 rating for his relief outing, his highest of the season.
“I thought Geno came in and did pretty decent,” said Ryan of Smith’s performance. “He was under duress as well. I think from a statistical standpoint, I think he was like 10-of-12 passing, but I thought he came in and showed some poise.”
While Smith looked better against Buffalo, Vick in his two previous starts played well. He finished with a quarterback rating over 100 in both games but more importantly did not turn the ball over, something Smith has struggled with during his young career.
Even though Vick has looked better at times this year, it makes sense for the Jets to start Smith. With team where they are, it is smart for the Jets to give Smith another opportunity to showcase his skills. And to see if he has not only learned from his benching but has improved on some of his weaknesses like his penchant for turnovershe has 12 on the season) something he said he has worked on during his benching.
“I mean it was everything the ball security is definitely at the forefront of it because it’s been kind of my biggest problem, my Achilles heal,” said Smith. “So ball security is definitely number one for me and making plays is certainty one ‘A’ and one ‘B’ so I’ve just got to go out there and do what’s best for the team. Take care of the football and make the right reads and just try and manage every single play and do the best that I can.”
Smith said he looks at his opportunity to start against Miami as not only as great opportunity but as a second chance to become the Jets’ quarterback of the future.
“I look at it definitely as an opportunity once again and almost like a second chance for me,” said Smith. “So when I go out there I’m definitely going to be playing like everything is on the line because it is. “
One thing is for certain, Smith and the Jets need to play better to not only be competitive with Miami but to win and Ryan knows it. “They do a tremendous job on defense, getting after your quarterback,” said Ryan. “They are number one in the league, I believe, in pass defense…so, we have our work cut out for us.”
So why should Jets fans believe in Smith?
“Well for one, the work that I put in, the effort that I spend to go out there and give them (the team), said Smith. “And (too) represent the Jets, represent the fans and represent the community is always number one for me. I always think about who I’m representing and the Jets and that logo means a lot to me.”