Jets coach Rex Ryan punched his ticket for another year with the Jets thanks to the team finishing strong in 2013 and he praised Geno Smith’s role in that strong finish on Friday.
Ryan said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, that Smith came “a million miles” over the course of the season and said there aren’t many players who grew as much as Smith did during his rookie season. Ryan said something similar during an interview with Mike Florio for Friday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, but wasn’t willing to say Smith was his starter heading into next season without question.
“Well, we’ll never say without question because as you know anything in this league can happen, Ryan said. “So we’ll let it play out and see what happens but certainly I think he played well, especially down the stretch.”
There isn’t much point in naming anyone the starter or determining who will take the first snap in training camp, as Ryan did with Mark Sanchez last year, on the last day of January. The roster could include a draft pick or a veteran free agent who will compete with Smith during offseason work and training camp or there could be an even bigger move that knocks Smith down the depth chart.
With all those variables, it’s prudent to avoid any bold proclamations that create the kind of sticky situations that Ryan has dealt with throughout his Jets career.