With the summer waning, football season is just beginning. And with it comes new aspirations, a clean slate and, for some, new careers. The successes and, more importantly, the failures of last season are in the past and now mean nothing. Teams have employed new players over the offseason, and completely overhauled their rosters which leaves no guarantees that as an organization, you are doomed to repeat last season. The New York Jets are one of those teams that are grateful to put a losing 6-10 record behind them, and focus on improving during the season ahead.
For the Jets, a major concern coming into this season is whether or not their incumbent quarterback, Mark “The Sanchize” Sanchez, would regain his old form of two seasons ago, when he lead the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championships, or if he would continue his downward spiral of subpar performances. In the thick of these concerns, The Sanchize’s season of redemption came to an unfortunate and untimely end in the third game of preseason. Late in the game, The Sanchize was dropping back and was tackled onto his right throwing shoulder, which resulted in a torn labrum and a scheduled surgery. Although he was recently placed on the Injured Reserve list, The Sanchize’s season is effectively over. Now, in Week three of the NFL season, it may be unfortunate for The Sanchize to have his season come to an end, when he is facing many questions about his performance and free agency next offseason, but it may turn out to be fortunate for the franchise and rookie quarterback, Geno Smith.
Geno Smith, who was drafted in the second round of this year’s draft by the New York Jets out of West Virginia University, was most likely not in line to receive the starting nod from Jets management, while Mark Sanchez was not performing horribly. Geno Smith would have been sure to become frustrated once reporters continued to harass him with questions concerning the quarterback competition well into the season. And The Sanchize would have been sure to become distracted while the media continued to report incessantly on the quarterback situation.
The New York Jets’ 2013/2014 season would sure to have been defined by the interesting and exasperating dynamic of a young, talented and unproven quarterback standing on the sidelines, while a quarterback with diminishing success in a contract year would continue to receive a place as the starting quarterback. It would have seemed that after releasing former New York Jets backup quarterback and household name, Tim Tebow, to avoid such a dilemma, that the Jets wouldn’t be in the same frustrating and distracting place.
But all of this, fortunately, has been avoided by the The Sanchize’s uncertain place as the starting quarterback for this season coming to an end. The Jets’ management no longer has to deal with the spectacle created by the media covering the Jets’ quarterback competition. No longer will fans continue to grumble their annoyances about the Jets’ management continuing to start the obviously inept Mark Sanchez. Now, Geno Smith has the opportunity to show that he is more than just a young quarterback with NFL potential, but a viable option as an NFL quarterback and the new face of the franchise. And now the Jets organization will be able to focus collectively on what should be focused on: the active season ahead, instead of the depth chart. Although I am not a fan of the Jets because I am from the West Coast, I shared many football fans’ grievances with Jets’ Head Coach Rex Ryan and his decisions to allow quarterback competitions and questions to plague the entire season and distract away from the goals at hand.
I honestly have no idea how after two disappointing and ugly seasons, Ryan continued to hold the faith of the Jets front office. Not only does the blame for the past two disappointing season fall on Head Coach Rex Ryan, but team management, for allowing him to continue distracting the organization by way of questionable quarterback choices. I can almost guarantee it that Rex Ryan would have made the same mistake, as he did last year, by not giving Geno Smith the starting nod this year and essentially ending the quarterbacking questions once for all.
So all and all more than anything, Mark Sanchez’s possible season-ending injury may have saved the Jets from having a terrible season, Geno Smith from wasting away a year on the bench, and the fans from enduring another quarterbacking farce. So, maybe this year, the Jets’ organization can experience the same level of excitement that other organizations, such as the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers, experience by possessing young dual threat quarterbacks who put up big numbers. What Jets fans need most of all right now is excitement, because the last two years have been devoid of such things. And who knows? Maybe Geno Smith may garner such successes to gain a cool nickname, like “The Sanchize.” Am I hearing Geno “The Jet” Smith?