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Rex Ryan says Geno Smith isn’t absolved because he’s a rookie

New York Jets v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Jets quarterback Geno Smith turned the ball over four times on Sunday against the Titans, including a fumble recovered for a Tennessee touchdown that came loose when Smith was trying to shift the ball from one hand to the other behind his back.

That makes 11 turnovers on the season for Smith, which leaves him tied for the most in the NFL and the most among quarterbacks who call MetLife Stadium home with Eli Manning. The Titans turned all four of Sunday’s turnovers into touchdowns, which is pretty significant in a game that ends with a 38-13 score, and Smith showed he was more successful describing the game than he was playing it when he said he was “just piss poor” on the field.

Coach Rex Ryan, who offered all manner of support for Mark Sanchez in the wake of similar performances in recent years, said Smith is remaining in the starting lineup for the Week Five date with the Falcons. His support wasn’t quite unwavering, however, as he also said that there’s a statute of limitations on making rookie mistakes.

“How many times are we going to make that an excuse?” Ryan said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “One of these days we’re going to have to learn from them and it better be soon…. We better learn in a hurry. It has to get better.”

As much as Ryan might like to suggest otherwise, the Jets are going to have to make excuses for Smith a little longer because there isn’t a particularly viable option on the roster. Benching your second-round pick for Matt Simms seems highly unlikely and Mark Sanchez still has several more weeks on injured reserve before he’s eligible to return, which means Smith is going to be learning on the job.

And he’ll be making mistakes as he goes, whether they are growing pains or simply a manifestation of his shortcomings. That won’t do much to help Ryan’s chances of holding onto his job, but it is in the Jets’ best long-term interest to figure out which way Smith is going to go even if it means that 2013 winds up being less successful than Ryan needs it to be.

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29 Responses to “Rex Ryan says Geno Smith isn’t absolved because he’s a rookie”
  1. cmdrsmooth says: Sep 30, 2013 7:24 AM

    Media is once again getting ahead of themselves. This is not a playoff team. They are still a year away from putting offensive weapons on offense.

    Let’s remember, Sanchez had 5 turnovers against this team last year. Looks like the Titans manhandle the Jets weak offense. Can’t rebuild a team in a year.

  2. telke24 says: Sep 30, 2013 7:24 AM

    Fire him already

  3. solidarityrules says: Sep 30, 2013 7:38 AM

    If a quarterback leads the league in turnovers (Sanchez), and the next year you replace him with another, and the new quarterback leads the league in turnovers, do we start to ask: could it possibly be the coach has some responsibility? Could quarterbacks be placed in a system, and taught, in ways that would reduce turnovers?

  4. jakec4 says: Sep 30, 2013 7:39 AM

    Rex already destroyed Sanchez in a preseason game, so easing Smith in is not an option because of Rex. Some patience is in order, and four games isn’t enough of a sample size to start doing the QB carousel thing. Rex screwed up, and now he has to sleep in the bed he made. If his job is tied to the success of Geno he should have thought about that before getting his biggest scapegoat put on the sidelines. Rex knows defense for sure, but his inability to handle a QB could be his undoing. Just try supporting the kid he threw out there to the wolves for a little while before publicly putting a bunch of pressure on him.

  5. grogansheroes says: Sep 30, 2013 7:49 AM

    Who would have ever thought the Jets would have another butt fumble for a TD? At least it wasn’t on National TV.

  6. dogman9 says: Sep 30, 2013 7:49 AM

    Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions his rookie NFL season. He figured it out, give Geno a chance.

  7. jetsareajoke says: Sep 30, 2013 7:51 AM

    Where are all the jests fans that were calling Ryan Tannehill a bust after his bad FIRST game against the Texans? Biggest difference between that rookie QB and the jests rookie QB is Tannehill learned from his dumb mistakes and has gotten better each game. Geno Smith……not so much.

    Bet all Bills fans are sitting at home smirking and toasting their front office for making the right choice in the draft.

  8. bigoldred says: Sep 30, 2013 8:01 AM

    It took less than a year to replace the butt fumble as the funniest/saddest play in the long sorry history of the NY Jets.

  9. cwk22 says: Sep 30, 2013 8:06 AM

    Dolphin fan here who by destiny hates the jets. But Sanchez was horrible and putting him back in wont solve the problem. Smith needs to get it under control quick and stop the cuteness live the behind the back fumble. But he is faster and if he can get his decision making under control, should do better then Sanchez any day. That being said, he has to learn fast and show weekly improvement or when Sanchez gets better Rex will say I told you so and make the change.

  10. jhb64 says: Sep 30, 2013 8:26 AM

    Give Smith a chance this season. Then if you don’t see major improvement then let the GM be responsible

  11. hehateme2 says: Sep 30, 2013 8:34 AM

    Hey Wrecks…. 10 MORE flags yesterday. This may be the only record for the hapless jets this season. Well done.

    I guess the pushups didn’t work out.

  12. buffalo75vette says: Sep 30, 2013 8:36 AM

    All the experts said he was the pick and that Buffalo made a bad choice. Don’t look so bad now does it..

  13. kw867233 says: Sep 30, 2013 8:44 AM

    Geno needed a horrendous game like this if nothing else than for the film itself. He still completed 68% of his passes & threw for almost 300 yards… He’s going to be fine, once the offense gets some more talent (I’m looking at you, Marqise Lee) and protection he will cut out his turnovers. It’s going to take time though. Nobody had any expectations for the Jets this season anyway so why are we all shocked a 22 year old kid had a bad game. Forget that bring in Simms garbage…let this kid work

  14. Patriot42 says: Sep 30, 2013 8:52 AM

    Looking to next year is not using logic. Teams can turn things around very fast as they have in KC this season so far. The Jets can’t be looking ahead and assume they get better because things could get worse.

  15. afcdomination says: Sep 30, 2013 9:06 AM

    geno just isn’t a very smart QB. he is proving this. and is on pace for about 6 of those 2 point giveaways, and 32 INT’s!!!!

    but hey at least he is athletic right? he has all of about 90 rushing yards right now, and spends more time running backwards into his own end zone than actually running for first downs.

  16. afcdomination says: Sep 30, 2013 9:08 AM

    in the opinion of most. KC gave up too much for A.Smith. if you look at this, the jets used a 2nd rd pick on a qb the next coach won’t even want. so for the price of 1 more 2nd, you get a franchise qb, instead of a shot in the dark at a guy with SERIOUS question marks.

    I just don’t understand the jets drafting a qb, when rex is so obviously in his last year, stripped of power. that next HC, whoever he is, will want a new QB, and Geno will find himself losing a QB job, and I personally would rather take my chances with josh freeman than trade for geno

  17. kev86 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:15 AM

    let’s remember how the lowly Bucs gift wrapped them a win already. this is a 4-5 win team.

  18. kev86 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:19 AM

    Alex Smith would have been good for a team led by Rex. Rex is all defense. Alex Smith is a smart, “mistake free” QB that takes what is given. He can complete the short passes, run for first downs and manage the clock. He has an excellent winning % as a starting QB.

    Jets opted for a kid with a ton to left to learn at the NFL level that can launch a deep one now and again.

    bad decision!

  19. jimthebuilder27 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:07 AM

    So reading between the lines, Rex essentially knows he’s done at the end of the year, and simply says “Eff it.”

  20. jetsmmt says: Sep 30, 2013 10:14 AM

    Jets O-line had a very bad game, didn’t even give Geno a chance.

  21. geefan1 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:15 AM

    How is Rex still employed?

  22. dhardy8207 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:30 AM

    JMO, but I think Rex should have been fired by now. Sanchez should have been traded as his last 3-4 seasons have been horrible. Not sure why Rex is so anxious to get Geno off the field and Sanchez back in the starting spot. Its a lose lose at this point but at least Geno has room for improvement..

  23. jetsareajoke says: Sep 30, 2013 10:31 AM

    “Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions his rookie NFL season. He figured it out, give Geno a chance.”
    ——————–
    With this logic, Geno is well on his way since it’s only a quarter way through the season.

    ============
    “He still completed 68% of his passes & threw for almost 300 yards…
    ———————”
    It’s not really that uncommon for a QB to put up good numbers when the the game is so far out of reach that the opponent goes to the prevent defense.

  24. FinFan68 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:47 AM

    I’m on the record as one who doesn’t think Smith has the mental makeup to be a consistent and solid NFL QB–especially in NYC. That said, the behind the back fumble was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen an NFL quarterback do. It goes beyond an unfortunate lack of awareness like the butt fumble or Orlovky’s safety. Smith made a conscious decision to do that. That is inexcusable and speaks volumes about his decision making.

  25. number1ninersfan says: Sep 30, 2013 10:51 AM

    I feel bad for Geno… Rex has to be the most incompetent coach in the NFL!! If he isn’t there for Geno, then who is?? Now Rex is wanting Sanchez back??? Hey Rex, what’s your deal with with the worst QB in the NFL?? I mean do you really think Mark is going to amout to anything??? I think the whole world has seen what Mark Sanchez can do… and the epic BUTT FUMBLE takes the cake!! The BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN TO GENO IS GET TRADED!!! With a coach like Gus Bradley for instance, at least he has a chance!! And that’s on the flippin Jags!!!!

  26. captbuff says: Sep 30, 2013 11:24 AM

    Alex Smith isn’t the answer. The Jets don’t have Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, and on top of that, Smith is 4 games into the season. He’s in his 8th year if I’m not mistaken, as a first overall pick, and his career high in TDs of 18. That’s who you want as your franchise QB?

    Geno had a terrible game – but it was one game. He outplayed EJ Manuel badly last game (I’m a Bills fan). Give these kids some time.

  27. qdog112 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:30 AM

    Terrible play by the Jets rookie. Expect more mistakes until they actually block for him. The funny thing is, there’s very veteran QB in NY, who leads the NFL in INTs and has a couple fumbles to boot. His name is Eli and he has played like pure garbage.

    Kinda odd that Smith’s mistakes signal an end to life as we know it, yet Eli, a seasoned vet and 2 time Super Bowl MVP (undeserving), flies beneath the radar. How can anything Geno does, rise to the errors of a guy like Eli?

    On top of that, Geno’s Jets are 2-2, while Eli’s Giants are 0-4. Eli’s mistakes are being glossed over by ALL of the sports outlets.

  28. surfinbird1 says: Sep 30, 2013 1:40 PM

    If Geno can perfect that ball shuffle move he’ll be a star. Maybe even elite. You know,like Joe Flacco.

  29. garyaltenorbasketballbicker.com says: Sep 30, 2013 2:12 PM

    It’s still early in the season to count the Jets out. A lot of injuries to key players made yesterday’s game much more harder on the whole gang green. The offensive line needs to play 100 times better next week, and give Geno a chance to make better decisions. Granted throwing interceptions are a no no, especially the ones for big gains. Their’s a lot of football to be played this season, lets see if the Jets can turn it around this week.

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