The New York Jets have sent out mixed messages regarding this summer's quarterback competition. From the players to the coaches, no one can agree on what story to follow. One statement released earlier in the week by Gang Green's offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg may have shed some light on the current controversy for New York.
"There is competition," Mornhinweg declared. "Now, it may not quite be like the competition we had last year [between Smith and Mark Sanchez], where everything was 50/50. We're trying to continue the progression with Geno, and then have Mike ready to go. It's just that simple, and Mike knows the exact expectations and roles that he has, and Geno knows the exact expectations."
The Jets drafted Geno Smith with their first pick of the second round of last year's draft to try to push Mark Sanchez into progressing. When Sanchez was placed on season ending injured reserve due to an injury to his throwing shoulder, Smith was given the crown as starting QB. The terms of that competition were simple, each quarterback was there to push one another until one player separated themselves from the other. Unfortunately for Sanchez, his shoulder injury caused him to step aside from the competition and lose his spot as the starting QB.
After being deemed starting quarterback, Smith had a decent season as a rookie. However, his passing touchdowns to interceptions ratio was nowhere close to what coaches and fans wanted it to be at 12-to-21. Smith did not have the star-power surrounding him like he had at West Virginia in college where he displayed the kind of potential he may have, but that horrid ratio will not win many games in the NFL.
Now that the Jets have bolstered the offense by bringing in Eric Decker, Chris Johnson, and a plethora of draft picks, coaches and fans are expecting Smith to flip the ratio around. If the second year quarterback does not show progression with the newly acquired stars, then that is why Gang Green brought in veteran quarterback Michael Vick as an insurance policy. Vick's role to be game-day ready and to be able to step in with the first team at all times will benefit the Jets in the long run if Smith struggles early or has an injury similarly to Sanchez.