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Rex Ryan: Geno came “a million miles,” but too early to talk starter

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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.

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14 Responses to “Rex Ryan: Geno came “a million miles,” but too early to talk starter”
  1. itsunclepauley says: Jan 31, 2014 2:20 PM

    Right call here.

    People will complain, but the fact is that if Geno can sustain what he did over the last four games of the season, then the future will be bright.

    If not, then it’s time for someone else.

  2. Punk says: Jan 31, 2014 2:20 PM

    wow he must have REALLY not been ready for prime time.

  3. 13maram says: Jan 31, 2014 2:26 PM

    I’m not sure if Geno is the future, but he definitely deserves another year as the starter. Remember he was a raw prospect coming out of Holgerson’s “Air Raid” offense. He has the size, speed and arm strength to become a top 10 quarterback, but he needs to develop more in reading his progressions, which he did at the end of last year (2nd highest QBR over the final 4 games).

    I’de say sign Decker or Maclin, draft Ebron Round 1, Matthews Round 2, and De’Anthony Thomas in the mid to late rounds to give Geno the weapons he needs to develop. Geno would also benefit from competition like McCown or Kirk Cousins

  4. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jan 31, 2014 2:33 PM

    PLEASE REX DRAFT A RB. Heck draft TWO! EARLY. Please go back to ground and pound. The seahawks made it to the superbowl with a qb who doesn’t throw a lot. YOU CAN MAKE IT BACK! Just run those great defensive schemes you come up with and draft some studs at RB.

  5. dwntwnbadboy19 says: Jan 31, 2014 2:37 PM

    Bring back that chick that wears those headbands. She sadly better than Geno

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 31, 2014 2:43 PM

    How many millions of miles does it take to make it, and can he tell us the mileage of the others he is comparing him to? Either of those things would be very helpful to have a foundation for the perspective that he sees.

  7. jackburton77 says: Jan 31, 2014 2:43 PM

    In other news…Rex has no idea how far a million miles actually is.

  8. hehateme2 says: Jan 31, 2014 3:14 PM

    He’s still a deer in the headlights. Geno will never be a top 10 QB.
    Get used to it.

  9. ravenswhat says: Jan 31, 2014 3:42 PM

    That’s a lot of “came” even by Rex standards.

  10. peepeetoucher says: Jan 31, 2014 3:54 PM

    That deer spanked your lolphins to end your playoff hopes Hehateme. Kinda funny how u comment on every Jets story here but are nowhere to be found when Miami’s dysfunctional ways are written about. Coward.

  11. charmcitychampions says: Jan 31, 2014 4:25 PM

    I love Rex. My Ravens made the right choice with Harbaugh, but I really want Rex to succeed. He is a hell of a coach too. I want to see him win a SB in NY.

    Can Geno get him there? I’m guessing no, but it’s too hard to say this early. But I will say Geno looked pretty good the last 4 games. But he was REALLY bad for like half the season though. Jets need to get another QB high in the draft IMO or maybe trade for one. Carr or Garrapolo or Mettenberger or McCarron should be available in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, they need to hedge their bets and put a fire under Geno’s butt. If he can’t get it done…move on.

    Just don’t trade up and get Manziel. Let the Brownies take that franchise cancer and continue churning out more deuces from the Factory of Sadness.

  12. culturalelitist says: Jan 31, 2014 9:31 PM

    It sounds like the Jets are willing to let Geno sit and learn for a season or two. Thus, it makes sense for them to sign Michael Vick. He knows Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, has enough gas in the tank help the Jets compete, and his tendency to get hurt or slump will give Geno the occasional opportunity to play. Given how the Vick-to-Nick Foles transition turned out makes it all the more sensible.

  13. petedutcherjr says: Jan 31, 2014 10:52 PM

    I bet if the Jets were to release Mark Sanchez he would succeed elsewhere.

  14. spankygreen says: Feb 1, 2014 12:25 PM

    Unbelievable. GSmith should play for that other new york team that allows their QB to throw 20+ int in a season without worrying whether he’s in jeopardy of not being named the starter the following year.

    GSmith did ok for a 1st year QB with a less than adequate team around him……

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