Rex Ryan Benches Geno Smith, Won’t Say Which Quarterback Is Starting

Rex Ryan is keeping quiet about which quarterback will start for the New York Jets after he benched rookie Geno Smith for the second time this year.

Smith and the entire Jets offense was ineffective in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, one that dropped the Jets from playoff contention to playoff long shot.

Though Geno Smith was benched before, this time could be more permanent.

Rex Ryan isn’t saying either way.

“Right now, I can’t tell you who is starting,” Ryan said, adding, “It’s safe to say that we’ll put the guys in who we think give us the best chance to be successful.That’s the way it is and will be moving forward.”

Geno Smith managed only 29 first-half yards against an aggressive Dolphins defense, completing four passes to go with one interception. Backup Matt Simms relieved Smith, but wasn’t any more effective.

Despite the benching, Smith said he remained upbeat about his standing with the Jets.

“I have complete confidence in myself,” Smith said. “It’s been a tough three weeks, but I think I am the best option for this team. I think with the way that I work and the progress we’ve made as an offense — I know as of late we haven’t produced on the field — but sometimes that happens in the NFL.”

Rex Ryan has been plagued by quarterback controversy throughout the year. At the start of the season, injured quarterback Mark Sanchez said that he won the preseason competition for the starting job, not rookie Geno Smith.

Afterward, Ryan publicly corrected Sanchez.

“I never said he won the competition,” Ryan said. “That’s his opinion. It’s not about a company line. Apparently, if that’s what he said then that’s his opinion. Again there is that ongoing competition.”

Rex Ryan hasn’t said when he will name the starting quarterback for next week.