FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback when the New York Jets face the Patriots on Thursday, coach Rex Ryan confirmed. Some of the team’s fans have chanted for backup Michael Vick to be played when Smith has struggled.
"You can look at Mike to adding different things," Ryan said. "But I think Geno’s the way to go right now, and that’s why I’m comfortable saying he’ll be our starter."
Vick, the team’s $4 million backup, has not had much better luck when he’s been inserted into games. During a 31-0 loss in San Diego, both Smith and Vick played a half, and neither was able to get much going on offense. Early on, Vick was used in some wildcat packages without much success.
To be fair, the Jets' 1-5 record isn’t Smith’s fault -- the Jets' offense has looked terrible. Two of the most impactful red zone wide receivers -- David Nelson and Eric Decker -- have been intermittently injured. And there is the ineffectiveness of the offensive line. Smith was sacked four times against Denver and was pressured constantly in the pocket. The Jets only rushed for 31 yards, limiting Smith’s options.
"I thought he did play well, I thought he did respond," Ryan said. "And I expect the same thing this week."
John Idzik has taken a lot of criticism for the way this team is constructed. From this years draft, just three of the 12 draft picks started on Sunday. But Ryan defended the record under Idzik’s tenure, and even pointed to Smith as one of the positives from the 2013 draft.
"You’ve got Geno Smith, a starting quarterback in this league that I think has upside," Ryan said. "So, that’s a great pick."