New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will start this week’s game on the sidelines, as the Jets name Michael Vick starting QB this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sitting in fourth place in the AFC East, the 1-7 Jets found themselves needing to take desperate measures after last week’s 43-23 loss to the 5-3 Buffalo Bills. The loss to the Bills was New York’s seventh in a row.
The Geno Smith vs Michael Vick debate has been raging since the offseason, when the Jets brought in Vick to mentor Smith. At the time, the term “mentor” was believed to be more aptly described as “pressure,” though no one in the Jets organization said so publicly.
Apparently Vick didn’t need to pressure Smith at all. Geno blew up on his own.
Vick assumes the starting QB role after Smith had a verbal confrontation with a fan and missed a team meeting to see a movie. Vick didn’t play well in his previous fill-in role this season, but Jets coach Rex Ryan really had no choice in benching Smith.
Smith was pulled from Sunday’s 43-23 loss after three interceptions in the first quarter alone. Vick didn’t play much better, losing two fumbles and throwing an interception, but he did lead the Jets to 23 points.
Although Ryan hasn’t said how long Smith will sit, it will likely be more than one week.
“This is not looking long term, this is about the immediate,” Ryan told reporters. “My focus is on Kansas City and finding a way to get a win. That’s why this decision was made.”
That may be true, but Smith’s been benched twice in four weeks, indicating Ryan’s patience is wearing thin.