When LaDainian Tomlinson visited the New York Jets training camp in his role as an NFL Network analyst, he was bullish on his former team's chances of overtaking the New England Patriots in the AFC East. One of the reasons he cited was the chemistry between Ryan Fitzpatrick and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Well, scratch that.
Tomlinson now believes it's time for Geno Smith to replace Fitzpatrick, who has thrown nine interceptions in the last two games.
In a mini-rant on the NFL Network, Tomlinson acknowledged Brandon Marshall’s public support of Fitzpatrick, but the future Hall of Famer still wants to see Fitzpatrick benched.
"I get it, though, B," Tomlinson said. "I get it. You're a loyal guy. And that's your quarterback. But you know what? Honestly, it's time. Instead of J-E-T-S, you guys have got to start going G-E-N-O. That's right: It's time for Geno.
"You can't throw nine picks in two weeks and think you can keep your starting job. Meanwhile, Geno Smith beat you out (last year), and he's still on the bench. Come on, man. Roll it. It's time to get Geno in there, because Ryan Fitz-tragic is taking over, and it's not good."
Technically, Smith didn't beat out Fitzpatrick in 2015. As the incumbent, Smith was handed the title of "presumptive starter," but everything changed when his jaw was broken by I.K. Enemkpali. You know the rest.
Tomlinson's opinion is worth noting because he played for the Jets (2010-11) and because ... well, he's LaDainian Tomlinson. In August, I asked him about the Jets' chances and this is what he said:
"If there's ever a year to knock off the Patriots, it has to be this year for the Jets or for somebody else to win this division. It has to be the Jets. When you think about it, they have enough experience on both sides of the ball. If Ryan can play at the level he played last year -- and maybe just a little bit more -- they should do it. They should do it. He's had his best years under Chan Gailey. That's why I'm so optimistic."
Nine picks in two weeks changes a lot, I suppose.