By Brad Carroll
Jets head coach Rex Ryan says he still believes Geno Smith will be a good quarterback. That means one of three things: 1. He truly believes it and therefore has finally lost his mind from coaching the Jets, which after dealing with general manager John Idzik for two years is totally understandable. 2. He's protecting one of his players, which is commendable, even if Smith will end up costing Ryan his job. 3. He's still trying to pander to Idzik, which at this point makes no sense.
Ryan is still a great defensive coach, so he knows full well which quarterbacks are good and which ones stink. Smith stinks, and he knows it. I don't even have to go over his stats because every Jets fan that has watched him play knows he's terrible and wouldn't be a starting quarterback anywhere else.
Smith was benched in the first quarter after throwing three interceptions and the question for Ryan now is who to start going forward. We all know the incompetent Idzik wants Smith to start. Ryan, we hope anyway, wants Michael Vick to start, as he's at least capable of playing well.
But for those with no ulterior motives other than looking for what's best for the New York Jets, meaning not Ryan nor Idzik, the choice of who to start at quarterback for the rest of the season is easy. It has to be Michael Vick.
The decision to start Vick isn't because he gives the Jets the better chance to win games this season, as the best thing for the franchise is to lose the rest of them, get a top three draft pick, and take the best quarterback available.
The reason to start Vick has more to do with Smith than anything else. Starting Smith the rest of the season is a recipe for future disaster, giving the impostor a chance to trick the franchise (namely the incompetent Idzik) into believing he can be a starting quarterback. Smith did it last year and the Jets are paying the price for it this year.
Starting Vick stops that potential danger, as Smith can sulk on the bench for the rest of his career and the Jets can move on without a shadow of a doubt with a new quarterback next year and hopefully for the next 15. It could be Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, or another college passer than works his way up draft boards. As long as it's someone not named Smith, the Jets will be in good shape.
The only drawback to starting Vick is he gives the Jets the best chance to win, which could make all the difference in getting a top draft pick and the top quarterback. The Jets have competition for that spot, with the Raiders at 0-7, the Jaguars at 1-7, the Buccaneers at 1-6, the Rams and Redskins at 2-5, and the Titans and Falcons at 2-6.
The Raiders have Derek Carr, the Jaguars have Blake Bortles, the Redskins have Robert Griffin III and the Falcons have Matt Ryan, so likely they would be out of the quarterback market in the draft. But Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Tennessee could all use a new franchise passer.
Starting Vick could move the Jets behind any of those teams, as there would be a huge difference in draft position from winning one game to three games to five games.
That's the game of chance the Jets must play for the opportunity to get a top quarterback in the draft. It's a horrible spot for the franchise to be in, but the Jets have no one to blame but the incompetent Idzik and his fascination with an impostor.