Brady Quinn: Geno Smith’s ‘gotta be the guy’ at QB for the Jets

The only thing worse than being a New York Jets fan this year is being a New York Jets quarterback.

Rex Ryan’s 2-9 team has gone through a pair of quarterback switches in 2014. The first took place in the first quarter of the Jets’ Week 8 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Already reeling at 1-6 through seven games, Geno Smith started the day at MetLife stadium 2-for-8 for five yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions. Smith was replaced by Michael Vick.

Three games later, against the same opponent, this time in Detroit due to a snowstorm in Western N.Y., it was Vick’s turn to get benched. Trailing 31-3 in the middle of the third quarter, Ryan pulled Vick, who was 7-for-19 for 76 yards and an interception, for Smith, the same player he benched just a month earlier.

Dizzying, I know.

Brady Quinn, who spent some time with the New York Jets and Smith during the 2013 season, called into SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio earlier this week to give his take on Gang Green’s quarterback situation. For Quinn, it was a no-brainer who Ryan should go with under center for the rest of 2014 – and even into 2015.

“Geno Smith’s gotta be the guy that they give the opportunity to at least finish out the rest of the season,” Quinn said. “I don’t necessarily feel like it’s been fair for him, not only last year when I was with them there for eight or nine weeks in New York, but even coming into this year, it just seems like there’s always been some sort of undertone at the quarterback position. And that’s fine, but at some point, you’ve gotta prepare the starting quarterback for the season. And I don’t know if he necessarily had that last year before I had gotten there, and then coming into this year, the talk was there’s not a competition, but there [was.]”

Quinn pointed to the improved receivers in the Jets passing game, and suggested Smith get the chance to work with them over a longer period of time in the Jets’ offense.

“I would like to see him in more of a stable scenario, where he had the opportunity to kind of, not only learn from an older veteran guy, but also continue to progress, and I feel like he’s always looking over his shoulder at any moment,” Quinn said. “Especially with the weapons that they have now with Eric Decker, who they got in free agency, and then Percy Harvin as well this year. I’d like to see him with a full offseason to get on the same page with those guys in an offensive system, and then really see what he can take into next year.”

Next year could then be the ultimate measuring stick for Smith.

“You always hear, the third season for a quarterback is when you gotta see what they’re able to do,” Quinn said. “For a guy that’s played for a couple of seasons now, that would be his third year, and I’m just curious to see what he’s going to be able to do in the future. And hopefully, he can finish out the rest of the season strong like he did last year for the Jets; he had a really great four-game stretch at the end of last season.”

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