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Keyshawn thinks Jets players ready for change

Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith AP

The Jets quarterback competition hasn’t approached the fever pitch of last summer, but former Jets wideout Keyshawn Johnson’s not above stirring the pot, and said he thinks he sees which way it’s pointing.

The ESPN analyst told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com that he thinks Geno Smith will eventually prevail over Mark Sanchez, primarily by virtue of being the new guy.

Geno will add another dimension of attitude to the team,” Johnson said. “The players are probably more receptive to him than Mark. I would think the players like him more than Mark. They’ve been around Mark and they’re tired of Mark’s [crap]. That’s how players think. Geno Smith is the new wave. He’s hip, he’s cool. Mark is in a tough spot.”

Johnson was generally supportive of his fellow former USC Trojan, but thought he was overdrafted, and a run of early success set him up for the regression of the last two seasons.

“He was just OK in college. He wasn’t a home-run hitter. Then you put him in New York; that’s one of the worst things you could’ve done,” Johnson said. “Had you put him in Green Bay and let him sit like Aaron Rodgers for several years, maybe he could’ve ended up like Rodgers. He was thrown into the fire right away and made two playoff appearances, and now he feels like, ‘I’m the s—, nobody can tell me anything.’ They started losing and his confidence was shaken, and then he has [Tim] Tebow hovering over his shoulder.

“Now they draft Geno Smith after paying [Sanchez] a bunch of money. I get it, Geno Smith in the second round, he’s very talented. But I don’t know if they’ve put Mark in the best situations throughout his career. [In 2009], with that defense and that running game, they could’ve gone to the playoffs with Mark Brunell at quarterback. They got to the championship games running the ball all day and playing defense.

Johnson said if the Jets had signed a “Vinny Testaverde type” to start while Sanchez was eased into the NFL, “there would’ve been a better chance of him turning out like Rodgers.”

While it seems unlikely that Sanchez will ever reach that level, it’s also possible that Johnson’s analyzed the situation in the locker room accurately, and that Smith could end up with the job by virtue of simply being not-Sanchez.

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33 Responses to “Keyshawn thinks Jets players ready for change”
  1. immafubared says: Aug 2, 2013 10:30 AM

    I can say from the film I saw the other day, Geno looked pretty sharp. I would not be shocked at seeing him start. My only focus is whether he will be a decent QB or end up like Travaris J, has all the tools except one: can’t read a defense to save his life. We’ll see.

  2. corkspop says: Aug 2, 2013 10:35 AM

    I think Keyshawn is pretty much right about all of this. And the Jets aren’t the only team to rush a rookie into the fray. Maybe it happens again this year with Buffalo and Oakland. Too bad. How to ruin a Quarterback 101.

  3. hehateme2 says: Aug 2, 2013 10:40 AM

    and the wheels on the bus go round and round….

  4. dylanssongwriter says: Aug 2, 2013 10:52 AM

    Geno is hip and cool? He comes off as a goober.

  5. alexb1234 says: Aug 2, 2013 10:52 AM

    as a jets fan i want to disagree with Keyshawn but I can not…

    Geno needs to start

  6. green41563 says: Aug 2, 2013 10:52 AM

    Yeah, well, not every team can afford to spend a #1 pick on a guy who sits on the bench for three years. Rodgers landed in a dream situation, but most quarterbacks have to play relatively soon. And you know what? Didn’t bother Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, RG3, or Andrew Luck.

    The idea that the Jets ruined Sanchez by forcing him to perform like a normal top-10 draft pick is just wrong. Mark’s problem is that he just isn’t any good. Period.

  7. 858bolts says: Aug 2, 2013 10:56 AM

    I’m not a jets fan but I do agree Sanchez just wasn’t ready for the NFL. No player will succeed if no one has confidence in them and Sanchez has kinda been screwed with Tebow, Geno, and starting right away. But don’t get me wrong he sucks.

  8. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Aug 2, 2013 10:57 AM

    Rex will go with the QB that has the hottest hand…err…hottest feet.

  9. jrs1972 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:00 AM

    doesnt rex have a tattoo of mark on his body somewhere? That should indicate to everyone theres no chance of anyone starting other then rex’s hero mark. None at all. What a circus.

  10. eastcoastninerfan says: Aug 2, 2013 11:03 AM

    And now Deep Thoughts, by Keyshawn Johnson

  11. prijak1 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:09 AM

    Keyshawn , shut up! Aren’t you the one crying about Justin Biebers driving ….. Keep crying !

  12. ryann252013 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:11 AM

    “I can say from the film I saw the other day, Geno looked pretty sharp. I would not be shocked at seeing him start. My only focus is whether he will be a decent QB or end up like Travaris J, has all the tools except one: can’t read a defense to save his life. We’ll see.”

    I agree with your entire statement, NYJ fans should be excited this guy looks promising so far. He’s going out there and making Clyde Gates look like a #1 receiver. The only thing I don’t get about your statement was the reading a defense part. You don’t have a TD/INT ratio like he did in college without being able to read defenses. If he is having a problem reading them then he is in a great situation because he’s playing against a pretty stout D.

  13. wrdtoyrmama says: Aug 2, 2013 11:20 AM

    Hard as it is to believe, Keyshawn makes a lot of sense here.

    Following the Jets, there’s some things worth noting here about Geno, at this point.

    The players think he has that something extra (running ability, elusiveness) that Sanchez doesn’t have.

    He hasn’t thrown a pick in camp yet, and I was really surprised to learn that he only threw 6 or so out of over 500 attempts at WV.
    He takes care of the ball unlike Sanchez.

    About the only issue I’ve heard about Geno in camp, was he has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long, which is not an uncommon thing for rookie QBs.

    Pre-season game 3, and who starts, should tell us who’s going to start the season under center.

  14. CKL says: Aug 2, 2013 11:31 AM

    Keyshawn is one of those analysts I just have a hard time with because he lets his personal agendas color everything he says, and he can flip flop at the drop of a hat.
    I don’t think any amount of sitting would have made Sanchez into Aaron Rodgers. At best I think Sanchez could be above average as a QB.

  15. ampats says: Aug 2, 2013 11:41 AM

    Jets fans are also ready for a change, like a new team to cheer for after waiting 45 years for a Lombardi with no end in sight .

  16. granadafan says: Aug 2, 2013 11:42 AM

    Keyshawn STILL wants the damn ball.

  17. 4gone says: Aug 2, 2013 11:50 AM

    Let me see if I can follow Key’s logic – Sanchez was ruined because he had to play right away and didn’t get the opportunity to sit behind a veteran for a few years so Smith should play right away???

    Oh, I get it.

  18. justintuckrule says: Aug 2, 2013 11:54 AM

    nailed it

  19. hawkforlife says: Aug 2, 2013 11:56 AM

    Anyone that listens to this idiot needs a time out. He couldn’t relate or befriend his own teammates when he played and now thinks he’s qualified to rip other players for being liked or disliked. What a joke.

  20. therealhardt says: Aug 2, 2013 12:06 PM

    Geno seems emotionally fragile and immature, based on his actions at the draft and post draft. If you throw him into the fray, on a mediocre to bad team in NY, you’ll be in the exact same spot in 2-3 years. Woody Johnson is one of the worst owners in the NFL, so I expect this to happen.

  21. nfloracle says: Aug 2, 2013 12:16 PM

    I’m ready for a change at ESPN.

    Dump Keyshawn for someone more interesting and personable.

  22. freepretzels says: Aug 2, 2013 12:19 PM

    Wow. Maybe the most on point analysis I can remember from Keyshawn.

  23. sugarray1 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:35 PM

    “Johnson was generally supportive of his fellow former USC Trojan, but thought he was overdrafted, and a run of early success set him up for the regression of the last two seasons.”

    KeyKey is full of cr@p. He contradicts himself by saying they should do what he said was bad for Sanchez. “Lets throw another rook to the lions”

    I’m sorry, but no rookie QB’s should ever start in their first year. RGIII and Luck were freaks.

  24. axespray says: Aug 2, 2013 12:40 PM

    So just sit a guy for a year or 2, then he’ll automatically be as good as Brady, Rodgers, Steve Young, or even Colin Kaepernick.

    but Didn’t the Cardinals think sitting Leinhart for Warner would make Matt into “Aaron Rodgers 2.0″?

    Same for the Eagles with “kolb” ?
    How’d that work out for the Cards and Eagles?
    Just cause you sit a garbage QB doesn’t mean he won’t be garbage when he begins starting.

  25. dlk47823 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:44 PM

    Ampats -your 45 years has begun with a nice 9 year drought. don’t worry, you’ll get another year closer this year.

  26. stealthjunk says: Aug 2, 2013 12:52 PM

    So basically Keyshawn is saying that the Jets’ solution is to replace one guy who was thrown into the fire too early by throwing another guy into the fire too early.

    What do they say is the definition of insanity again?

  27. bryco9 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:02 PM

    Let Geno start. Sanchez has the talent to be an NFL starter, not a superstar, but in time possibly good. The problem is New York is not the place, sit him for the year and trade him to a needy team.

    If he sits his stock will not fall and look for a draft day partner in need of a young QB with upside looking for a change, possibly Bengals, Vikings, Browns, or Cards. I believe all he needs is a small market, time, and good running game.

    A 3rd to 5th rounder is the likely asking price maybe more if he comes off the bench once or twice, late in the season and shows progress. Either way Geno gets playing time & experience in lost season with no pressure, Sanchez is an a future asset.

  28. Advanced Strength Training Programs says: Aug 2, 2013 1:07 PM

    Sanchez has no weapons. I’m not sure he has ever had a fair shot with a legit offense.

    More importantly, the only analyst worse than Johnson is Faulk.

  29. purplehaze28 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:43 PM

    It’s the coach.
    Look what Harbaugh did for the 9rs with the same team that Mike Sigletary had. They couldn’t win with Sigletary, but new leadership can dramatically change a club.

  30. bryco9 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:46 PM

    And to clarify what I believe Mr. Johnson is trying to point out, Mark Sanchez got a big head due to the teams early success. Now the city, the team, and himself are putting pressure on him the any normally progressed QB would not have to deal with. In turn he is now buckling under the weight of him own early success.

    Time to think, reevaluate his game, and a market change are what this kid need. Other young starters may be in for the same fate, only time will tell. Take away the support of a running game & defense most veteran QBs will also fail.

    Geno has a chance simply do to his 2nd rd status, and the fact he doesn’t have any pro success to live up to. Lack of a proven running game (though Ivory may pan out) may limit him, though his speed and own scrambling ability should provide for a different aspect Sanchez simply can not provide.

  31. jfarsportsblog says: Aug 2, 2013 2:08 PM

    I’m a Jets fan and season ticket holder. When asked who I think should start at QB between Smith and Sanchez, only one word comes to mind:

    Buttfumble.

    I’m ready for a change.

  32. lrjets says: Aug 2, 2013 3:10 PM

    armpits doesn’t realize that including the Brady years, the Pats-Jets record in their entire history is 55-51-1 favor NE.

    Also realize the Jets will NEVER have the 1918-2004 drought of another Boston team.
    But- facts are pesky things.

  33. realfootballfan says: Aug 2, 2013 3:24 PM

    I think alot of teams are going to regret passing on Geno Smith.

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