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What If Geno Is The Answer?

Let me preface this article by clearly stating that I am not saying that Geno Smith is the answer...I'm just putting the hypothetical forward.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With the Ryan Fitzpatrick situation in a stalemate, and very little on the open market, it is absolutely conceivable that the New York Jets will be starting Geno Smith at quarterback this season. Now that may send chills down your spine, and I guarantee some fans will throw the towel in before the season starts if this happens, but maybe we shouldn't be quite so quick to judge.

Todd Bowles has said that Geno Smith is the man, which is hardly surprising considering the alternatives. Bryce Petty was always a project, and despite the natural gives that Hackenberg possesses...he still has a lot of work to do before he starts in this league. Could one of these guys serve up a Russell Wilson and leave the coaching staff no choice but to play them? It could happen, but I wouldn't be betting on it.

I went back and had a look at Geno in 2013 and 2014. He has talent, but does he have what it takes between the ears? He looked a little lost, sometimes a little afraid. He made some poor reads, rarely got in tune with his receivers, and made some pretty dumb decisions. However you can't look at Geno without looking at his supporting cast. Have you taken a look at the receiving core the Jets pushed out in 2013?

Jeremy Kerley, Bilal Powell, David Nelson, Kellen Winslow and Jeff Cumberland, those were the top five receivers by receptions in 2013, with Stephen Hill just missing the cut.

2014 we had Eric Decker come on board, and he performed well, but was beat up a lot of the year. However you can't discount him, so here is a list of players by receptions. Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, Jace Amaro, Percy Harvin and Chris Johnson. A better receiving core, but again it's probably better on paper than in practise.

The Jets look a lot different in 2016. Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Matt Forte alone should make anyone stand up and take notice. This isn't to say that Geno will all of a sudden become Joe Montana, but at the same time Geno has had the luxury of taking a year to sit back and learn the ropes.

Look at it this way, Geno has starting experience, a much better receiving unit and a year of experience running the system and learning the intricacies of it. I don't know if Geno has improved, I don't know if Geno has the ability to be a starting QB in this league, but I do know that I'm not ready to completely write him off based on the difficult start to his career.

It's always been my preferred method to sit a QB straight out of college, I really do think there is something for letting a player get accustomed to the NFL way before shouldering the huge amount of pressure that comes with starting in the league. Geno wasn't afforded that luxury, but what if he has grown as a player and as a person? What if he is the answer?

Food for thought on this post holiday Tuesday.