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Geno Smith to Win Starting Job if He Avoids Turnovers Against the Giants?

Jeff Zelevansky

Manish Mehta reports Geno Smith is likely to become the starting quarterback of the Jets if he avoids turnovers against the Giants Saturday.

The Jets’ farcical quarterback competition will conclude Saturday night with rookie Geno Smith needing two turnover-free quarters to secure a job that many people in the organization want him to win.

This is a newsworthy nugget in an otherwise vitriolic article where Manish seems outraged that Mark Sanchez might not get a fifth chance. If Manish is correct, he paints a picture where Idzik is the guy really making the call. That would add up. Rex Ryan was inherited. Idzik might not place his trust in Ryan to make the call.

The article goes on to express anger that the competition seemed to be all about whether Geno could get up to speed quick enough. To me that seems like a sound way to approach the situation. You know the current guy, Mark Sanchez, is incapable of doing the job. He doesn't have upside. You know what he can do. The new guy does have upside so unless sending him out there will somehow destroy his development, he should get the job. Given Geno's extensive playing experience in college and reported quick ability to study, my educated guess would be that starting him immediately will not destroy him.

The all comes back to one key issue, though. This competition in many ways resembles the competition the Jets had in 2009. The team was in many ways pressed into starting a rookie because there was no viable veteran. There is actually a big difference. It was at least possible in theory that Kellen Clemens had gotten better. He only had eight starts under his belt and had a chance to sit for a year. He was a blank slate. The team knows exactly what Mark Sanchez is. It amazes me when people vehemently argue that Sanchez should be on the roster and how cutting him in the offseason would have been a disaster. Why? It feels like a stretch to say he's markedly better than Greg McElroy at this point. He isn't a viable NFL quarterback. The Jets might feel like they don't have another choice, and that would be because they really don't. There is no legitimate option other than Geno.