The New York Jets appear have a quarterback situation of the worst kind — two signal callers equally unable to move the ball — but the team’s coach has moved to stop any rumors of a controversy.
On Sunday, the Jets benched second-year starter Geno Smith after a disastrous first half against the San Diego Chargers, opting instead to give veteran Michael Vick a chance. But Vick was just as ineffective, throwing erratically and failing to get the offense moving at all. The Jets would go on to lose the game 31-0, and the quarterbacks were a combined 12 for 31 for 74 yards.
But the New York Jets have decided to stick by Geno Smith, with coach Rex Ryan announcing after the game that Smith would once again be the starter next week.
After the game, Ryan put the blame on himself.
“First off, I apologize to our fans — those that are left,” coach Rex Ryan said. “This is on one person and that’s it. It’s certainly not on a quarterback and one individual that way. It’s on me. Clearly got outcoached. I thought we had a good plan going in and obviously that wasn’t the case.”
Smith has been benched for his play before, heading to the sidelines in the 12th game last year. But Smith was back to starting the following week.
Smith also took this benching in stride, saying he didn’t like the decision at first “but I had to change my mindset to support these guys. I understand these days will happen.” Vick has also been fully supportive of Smith, saying in the preseason that it is Geno’s team and that he was content with being a backup.
Though Ryan has given Geno Smith assurances he will start next week, the New York Jets could make a change soon. Smith is coming off four difficult weeks and was fined $12,000 by the NFL for cursing at a fan after last week’s loss to the Detroit Lions. At 1-4 the Jets are now at the bottom of the AFC East, but might not be out of contention yet in what looks like a soft division.