New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan gave rookie quarterback Geno Smith a vote of confidence Thursday.
“This is his offense now,” Ryan told Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York.
Incumbent starter Mark Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him out for at least this week, so Smith basically won the starting job by default.
Smith didn’t exactly light it up in the preseason, going 22 of 37 for 246 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, but he is the starter nonetheless.
“Geno’s got a good grasp of our offense,” Ryan said. “And we’ll see what happens.”
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg admitted he would make the offense a little easier for Smith by relying on his teammates.
“The other 10 players, as well as the specials teams and defense, kick it up a notch. Really, that’s the important part of the thing for a young quarterback that’s inexperienced. It’s just that simple,” Mornhinweg said. “Certainly, schematically the things going into the game plan, I may cross out a whole host of things as we get to Friday and Saturday depending on our conversations, what the film looks like, how Friday’s practice looks and those sorts of things. The rest of the players jacking it up a notch is key.”
Smith received another bit of good news Thursday when it was confirmed that veteran wide receiver Santonio Holmes would play in the Jets’ opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
Smith and the Jets will host the Buccaneers Sunday at 1:00 pm EST.