Jun 17, 2014; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) talks to media during minicamp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Is Geno Smith Jets’ biggest key to success?

Even the Jets’ salary-cap is set up for Geno Smith to be the quarterback of the future. They have the room to give Smith a mega-contract down the line. The expectation in New York is that they’ve already found their guy.

The situation isn’t perfect, but it’s improving. Perhaps Rex Ryan realized that he’s been asking too much of his quarterbacks in the past few seasons, because he and John Idzik made moves for running back Chris Johnson and wide receiver Eric Decker. If there’s been a more aggressive offensive offseason for the Jets under the Ryan-regime, I can’t remember. They even took a tight end in the second round in Jace Amaro.

So if the Jets are finally going to swim, now is their time. If they want to rise to the top of the AFC East, Geno Smith will play an essential — if not the most essential — role.

ESPN New York reporter Rich Cimini broke down Smith:

He’s 8-8 as a starter and shows intriguing arm talent and mobility, but he has yet to prove that he can be a consistent winner in the league. The Jets expect (hope?) him to take a giant step in 2014, surrounding him with better talent than last year. A lot is riding on Smith, because if he flat lines or regresses, they will be back to square one, looking to draft Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston or another young gun next spring — along with a handful of other quarterback-needy teams.

It’s seems that Cimini has little faith in suspected backup Mike Vick. If Smith falters, then wouldn’t Vick step in and right the ship? Regardless, Smith’s development will be essential for the franchise for years to come.

Tags: Geno Smith New York Jets

  • AC

    Rex has put too much faith in his QBs? Maybe in Sanchez. But the running game has ALWAYS been the focus of the offense. The only year we had anything resembling a dangerous passing offense was 2010 and that is still pushing it. The truth is there are only a handful of elite QBs in the league. All we need Geno to do is not LOSE games for the Jets. Make some plays and take care of the ball. Because of his legs, I’m hoping he can be a more mobile Alex Smith type of guy. Gets the job done and can make plays with his legs when he needs to. Its his second year. You can’t write off QBs after 2 years. It takes time to learn the position and mature.

    • RONBO19

      A/C, Yeah, i agree its way too early to write off Geno. I’m not a fan of ground & pound because thats a tough way to win a championship in today’s pass happy NFL. I realize a lot of folks think seattle won that way last year but when it came down to it in the super bowl it was Russell Wilson’s ability to complete key third down pass’s and use his legs to prolong plays by running for first downs. So I agree Geno is the key to this season and he needs to make a similar step forward towards becoming more than a game manager.

      • Paul Newbold

        Geno is the key to this offense……IF our OL improves!!

    • Paul Newbold

      Smith may or not be the QB of the future. As I’ve said before, I’m not sold on Smith at this point. His accuracy concerns me in the short game, and his pocket presence has a lot to be desired. Add that to poor decision making, and poor ball security, and in my mind, he hasn’t proven a thing. It would appear with the signing of Vick, the Jets want him to be more mobile, but if he still carries the ball around like he did last season, I’ll cringe every time he tries it! Smith may some day develop into an adequate QB, but I foresee more struggles for him this season. Hopefully not as bad as last year though!!

      • RONBO19

        Paul, all the criticism you mention is fair and true. If you read your own comments back you will notice all those deficiencies revolve around one problem: pressure on the QB. Yes, he lacks accuracy (but how many QB’s can throw accurately with a 300 lb d-line man in his face on a consistent basis? Yes,the decision making, pocket presence and ball security can also be at least partially to the same problem, pressure. And of source the biggest pressure of all was starting a rookie QB in the biggest media market in the whole league with a supporting cast i wouldn’t wish on any one. No question your criticism is warranted my friend, but I’m looking forward to see what (if any) improvement he can make with a full season under his belt and a training camp where he will be able to work with a more talented supporting cast.

      • AC

        I don’t think any rookie QB last season could have done better in the situation that Geno was thrown into. That alone should buy him more than just one more year of tryouts. In the last couple of years it seems that teams expect their rookie QBs to be all stars immediately. That rarely happens. As its been pointed out before both Mannings were horrible in their rookie years. Geno was a stud in West Virginia. No its not the SEC, but he is certainly capable with the right team around him. Eli is literally going to the Hall of Fame because of 2 hail marys that were actually caught (the obvious one in 2007 to win the Bowl and against the Packers to Hakeem Nicks in their last Super Bowl run), and a fantastic run by his defense on a team that was 9-7 and barely made the playoffs. I mean that Super Bowl team lost twice to the Rex Grossman led Washington Redskins. The team doesn’t live or die with Geno, it takes 11 guys on both sides of the ball to win.