Jets quarterback Geno Smith said Saturday that he expects to have competition for the starting job this offseason, something that coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik have both intimated since the end of the regular season by resisting offers to name Smith their starting quarterback for 2014.
If they do decide to make a change, it won’t be because of concerns about Smith’s judgment off the field. Some questions were raised on that front after an incident on a Virgin America flight that Smith left before takeoff. The airline later apologized and Idzik, speaking at the Jets House the team has been operating in Manhattan for fans and appearances by team members during Super Bowl week, said that he isn’t concerned about Smith’s judgment because he believes Smith understands what comes with playing such a visible position in New York.
Smith, who was also at Jets House, wouldn’t talk about the details of what happened on the flight Saturday He did say that he’s spoken with Ryan about the position he’s in and that he’s comfortable with everything that comes with his position.
“You’re a quarterback in the NFL,” Smith said, via Darryl Slater of the Newark Star-Ledger. “So that’s enough. I understand what my job entails. I understand what comes with it. So it’s not a big deal. I’ve just got to continue to do the things that got me here, which is be myself. I’m not a troublemaker. I’m not a bad person. I don’t do things to get in trouble.”
Handling things off the field is certainly important, but Smith’s going to need to do a better job of handling things on the field if he’s going to continue to deal with the extra baggage that may come with being a starting quarterback. Winning a serious competition this offseason would be a step in that direction and it wouldn’t hurt Smith or any other quarterback if the Jets upgraded the talent around them on offense in 2014.