Rex Ryan pumps up Geno Smith, Jets offense on Wednesday

Geno Smith
Geno Smith will start on Sunday despite being pulled last week.
Credit: Getty Images

The Jets moved forward Wednesday, pumping up Geno Smith as the right man to start at quarterback in a season with no more margin for error.

Smith is clearly costing the Jets offense but with the coaching staff reluctant to go with David Garrard as the starter or elevate the unproven Matt Simms beyond a backup role, Smith is the default starter.

Head coach Rex Ryan gave his full vote of confidence Wednesday to an offense that has scored just six points in the past two games. He rolled out almost immediately with Pollyanna shtick.

“Probably our best day of practice we’ve had offensively. Not that that’s a good sign, that’s a great sign for us. Guys came out with energy, bouncing around,” Ryan said. “Obviously we need that. Just hard to explain, it was out there today.”

Ryan said the kudos extended to Smith, who on Wednesday was “very accurate with the football, everything was decisive.”

On Nov. 20, Ryan sounded similar sentiments about his team and “was really pleased” with practice. The Jets lost at the Ravens four days later, 19-3.

At 5-7, making the playoffs is a tall task and one that leaves the team with little room for mistakes. This was evidenced on Sunday when, down 6-0 at halftime to the Ravens, Smith was benched in favor of Simms. With a score that close, it says something about the Jets confidence in him — or lack thereof — that he would be pulled with the Jets down just two field goals at that point in the game.

“It does motivate. Like I expressed to my coaches and teammates, I never want to come out of the game,” Smith said on Wednesday. “I think it could be a good thing down the road, but I never want to come out. I have to use this as motivation and take it for what it’s worth.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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