Geno Smith should have sat on the bench like he did in the 2013 NFL Draft green room before becoming an NFL starter. Things have gotten so bleak in New York City for the Gang Green that the wife of Eric Decker is beginning to air out personal info about her husband's state of mind over the radio waves.
I won't throw Geno Smith's personal statistics on the page because its too graphic for this site, but let's be frank. He's awful. When gangrene of this variety spreads so rapidly the best course of action is amputation.
The transition from an “Air Raid” offense in which Smith threw an ungodly amount of screen passes in the direction of Tavon Austin and Steadman Bailey, to the Jets dumpster fire has been turbulent.
However, Rex Ryan’s Monday Night Football game plan, which seemed to emphasize hiding instead of highlighting their quarterback wasn’t the first sign that the coaching staff displayed a paucity of faith in Smith.
According to NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport, the Jets devised a simplified system that essentially pre-determined where Smith would throw the football and took the complexities of making proper reads out of his hands.
That may sound familiar. It’s a sibling to the color-coded system, Ryan used to ease Mark Sanchez into the NFL. Like a millennial parent who helicopter parents his kids into adulthood and drives him to job interviews, Ryan’s stunted the growth of his quarterbacks.
However, Smith makes Sanchez look like Stephen Hawking from the pocket.
Smith is the latest cautionary tale for modern general managers trying to reinvent the wheel by investing in "innovative" quarterbacks who thrived in college offenses that oversimplified things and inflated statistics by eliminating second reads or that exist in a shotgun-only universe.
What do struggling quarterbacks Robert Griffin III, 2011 first rounder Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford, Jake Locker and Smith have in common?
They each were thrust into action too soon or have struggled learning the intricacies of playing quarterback in the NFL.
The only prominent quarterback drafted in the last four years not included above was Cam Newton who has been spared from criticism because of the Carolina Panthers’ apathy towards assembling a competent offensive line.
Smith was never ready to be a starting quarterback out of the gates.
He is not Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill or even Teddy Bridgewater, who all started in their first seasons after germinating from pro-style offensive internships at the collegiate level.
EJ Manuel and Christian Ponder are glaring examples of first rounders from pro-style systems who have been demoted from starter to clipboard carrying sideline assistants, but they were always considered high risk projects who were drafted on potential upside.
Jimbo Fisher, who coached at Florida State for Manuel’s entire career as either his offensive coordinator or head coach allegedly told general managers prior to the 2013 Draft that Manuel didn’t possess the tools of a starting NFL quarterback.
Manuel was graded as a second or third day pick in an anemic quarterback field and probably would have been graded even lower in the 2014 edition of the draft.
The Jts plight brings us to a familiar topic; the next Mistake by the Lake aka benching Brian Hoyer for Johnny Manziel.
Manziel fits into the category of recent first round quarterbacks who were grow within the test tube of a remedial Air Raid-inspired system.
Now, the Browns are preparing to overload his learning curve by perhaps throwing him into the starter’s role in the midst of an intense push for a playoff berth during the embryonic stage of his development.
Practice is where kinks get worked out by coaches. Games are where both and good mechanics or habits become ingrained in an athlete’s cerebral sportex under fire.
Not only do the Browns risk interrupting his steady development, but they’re also alienating the veteran quarterback who got them to this point in the process.
This also makes the upcoming crop of quarterbacks even more difficult to evaluate. Marcus Mariota’s received universal praise, but whether he’ll translate after being removed from the confines of Oregon’s offense makes him just as much of a crapshoot as RGIII or Bradford.
Geno Smith probably never have had the natural talent to be a franchise quarterback, but the Jets haven’t done him any favors by scarring his psyche. There hasn’t been a quarterback more traumatized from Day 1 by a silly putty offensive line and a front office using a shoestring budget on skill position players since a young David Carr was being tattooed into the turf.
This is bigger than just Geno. NFL Quarterbacks are Iron Chefs behind a line of scrimmage. When it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, beware the cooked up numbers of signal callers who flourish in offenses that come with Hamburger Helper.