Geno Smith got the green light from the Jets this week to be their starting quarterback, likely meaning more of the same for an offense that has struggled in recent weeks.
The Jets’ offense has been in a free fall over the past month, with just 17 combined points over the past two games. Of the utmost concern for the offense is the play of Smith, who hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Oct. 20 in a Week 7 overtime win over the Patriots. During that stretch, he has just one game with a completion percentage over 50 percent.
Despite that, when asked if he was the starter this week Smith acknowledged that he would be.
“Yes,” Smith said, before hesitating. “I fully intend to go about my week as I always do and have confidence in myself to be the starter and the leader of this offense. I will continue to study and work diligently as I’ve always done.”
Smith later said he hadn’t had a conversation with the coaching staff about his starting role, but head coach Rex Ryan said from the podium on Monday his rookie quarterback will start.
“Right now I feel that he gives us the best chance to win,” Ryan said.
Smith completed 9-of-22 passes for 127 yards with three interceptions against the Ravens, but was not pulled from the game as he was the week prior. Despite the competition mantra espoused by first-year general manager John Idzik, it is clear Smith is firmly ensconced as the starting quarterback.
The Jets have veteran David Garrard and Matt Simms, who has looked solid in two appearances this year, on the roster. But Smith said the chatter calling for him to be replaced is something he ignores.
“I completely shut that out,” Smith said. “One, you have to, but two, I know what it takes to win and what it takes to be a good quarterback and it doesn’t have anything to do with anything outside this building.”
The deficiencies of Smith have not changed. He’s unsettled in the pocket, inaccurate and has issues in terms of reading defenses.
“It’s pretty frustrating but you can’t let it affect you. I obviously want to throw more touchdowns, want to be more productive, want to help this team out in anyway I can,” Smith said. “But the opportunities, when they’re there, I have got to be able to take them. We’ve had some opportunities that [we] didn’t cash in on. But it’s behind us, it’s in the past. You can’t get those back. Got to move on.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.