Analysis: Jets make surprising QB decision by starting Geno Smith

A few quick thoughts on the New York Jets' decision to start Geno Smith at quarterback, not Michael Vick:

1. This has John Idzik's fingerprints all over it. On Tuesday, the feeling around the Jets was that Rex Ryan was planning to keep Vick in the starting lineup. But late Tuesday night, it was decided they will return Smith to his former job after three games on the bench. No doubt, Ryan will present this as an "organizational decision," as he always does, but this smacks of the head coach being overruled by his GM.

2. You can rip the process, but it's hard to criticize the choice. The Jets (2-9) are mathematically eliminated, so it's all about the future. Even Ryan admitted that Tuesday, telling reporters he's planning to increase the roles of some young players -- in backup roles, he clarified. He said it wouldn't be anything as dramatic as changing a starting job. So much for that.

3. This looks like Smith's last chance to prove to the organization that he has a future. He went 1-7 this season as the starter before an awful performance in Week 8 landed him on the bench. The fact that he's back in the lineup is no shock -- you knew Idzik wanted to give Smith another audition, so to speak -- but it's surprising that it is coming now. If Smith happens to play well (does anybody really think that will happen with this offense?), it could create a false sense of hope. The Jets got sucked into that late last season, when Smith made some strides in meaningless games.

4. It'll be interesting to see how this plays in the locker room. The sense from the players is they liked Vick as the starter. They respect his experience and, of course, ability to make plays outside the pocket. There was a palpable loss of confidence in Smith after his brutal Week 8 start against the Buffalo Bills. This decision probably will be met with some grumbling in the locker room. Then again, does it matter at this point? The Jets are toast, and so is Ryan.

5. This move is not Ryan-like. One thing about him is that he doesn't have a quick hook. Maybe it's one of his faults. He stayed with Mark Sanchez too long and he did the same with Smith, who should've been benched after missing a team meeting and playing poorly in a Week 4 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Vick gets yanked after one bad start.

6. It never changes with the Jets. This quarterback circus triggers memories of 2012, when it was the Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy fiasco. Unfortunately for Ryan, this will be one of his legacies: dysfunction at the quarterback position.