Trying to make sense of the Geno Smith pick

The decision of the New York Jets to spend the 39th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft on quarterback Geno Smith presents more layers than a blue-ribbon county fair onion.

The most intriguing story line immediately drove the headlines:  What does this mean for Sanchez?  The easy answer, especially in light of G.M. John Idzik’s non-answers, is that the arrival of Smith nudges Sanchez’s inevitable departure from after the 2013 season to before it.

But what does it mean for the head coach who remains firmly on the hot seat, and whose public words and demeanor increasingly reflect that his uncertain status is slowly, gradually wearing him down?  NFL organizational dynamics entail one undeniable truth:  A new owner wants to hire his own G.M., a new G.M. wants to hire his own head coach, and a new head coach wants to find his own quarterback.  Idzik turned that basic reality on its head by picking the quarterback who will survive Rex Ryan’s tenure, if Ryan goes after the 2013 season.

This means that, if Ryan goes, the next coach will be stuck with Geno Smith.  Naturally, any coach who interviews for the job will say, “Sure, I want Geno Smith.”  And then, once the coach has the job, the effort to replace Smith can be launched, Josh McDaniels/Jay Cutler-style.

Idzik is smart enough to realize this.  Which makes us wonder whether Idzik believes that Ryan’s potential replacement already is on the coaching staff.

After Tony Sparano was fired by an NFL team for the second time in 12 months, Ryan declared that he wants an offensive coordinator who reflects Ryan’s desire to field a “physical, aggressive, attack-style” team.  But the guy who ultimately was hired, Marty Mornhinweg, uses an offense based not on physicality and aggression but precision and timing.

That makes us wonder whether Mornhinweg was picked not by Ryan but by Idzik.  And the decision to draft Smith with Ryan still on the job makes us wonder whether Idzik would avoid the dilemma of hiring a coach who may not want Smith by simply making Mornhinweg the next head coach.

Of course, it’ll be hard to reward Mornhinweg if the overall roster plays poorly enough to get Ryan fired.  But as we try to make sense of a decision that could create an even weirder situation in New York come January as the G.M. who was handcuffed with a coach tries to handcuff a coach with a quarterback, the simplest explanation could be that Mornhinweg, who presumably is on board with tutoring Smith, would simply take over.

58 responses to “Trying to make sense of the Geno Smith pick

  1. Sources tell me Jets in talks to sign Curtis Painter, John Skelton, Jordan Palmer, J. Russell, and Jeff George to fill out 11 man all QB squad, to go with the QB’s on roster already. Can’t wait!

  2. The decision of the New York Jets to spend the 39th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft on quarterback Geno Smith presents more layers than a blue-ribbon county fair onion.

    No, it doesn’t. I understand that you need to say it does so that you can milk the story for another 50-75 blog posts between now and August, but it really doesn’t.

    See, it’s really, really simple: Everyone agrees that neither Mark Sanchez nor Tim Tebow is good quarterback, so the Jets went out and drafted the consensus best QB available.

    That’s all, folks.

  3. When Florio writes an article, you can actually tell (besides just the byline). The cute and smart-alecky intros and segue actually work!

  4. No, the simplest explanation is that the Jets are an utter disaster of an organization, as proven time and time again by the drama and ineptitude that continues to surround them.

  5. Why can’t the Jets renegotiate Sanchez’s contract to be more cap friendly? Am I missing something?

  6. So many interesting stories around the draft and all the media can talk about is the Jets, Smith, Sanchez, Manti Teo and Honey Badger. NFL Network, ESPN and the rest of the media for shame!

  7. 1) It’s the Jets; the Jets usually mess up.

    2) There are statistics on this type of QB/player.

    3) The writer of the article may be part of the 0.0001 % of America that would bother to be concerned.

  8. I’m glad Dungy brought in his own QB when he went to Indy.
    GM’s and coaches don’t want “their own guy” simply because he would be “their own guy.”
    They want to bring one in because usually the previous one was no good.
    If the guy is any good, they’ll keep him.

    I sure hope the Jets don’t make moves because they know they will fire their coach. They better think Ryan will be there for years to come.

    Really, you think they are such a bad org that they kept a coach knowing he will be fired next year and should make moves based on what his replacement will want?

  9. I am so sick of the media overcoverage and speculation of the Jets. If we went out and picked a WR or TE it would be scrutinized ad nauseum. The fact is no one who writes speaks with anyone who is familiar with anyone within the organizations thinking. The draft Geno now because as Idzik says he was going with the best available any that point. Now if Sanchez responds to Smith in the wings then its great and Smith sits until Sanchez’s departure. If Smith plays well enough to start then he plays and Sanchez sits on the bench. This is not the first team to pick a QB with a QB in place. The Seahawks went out last year and picked Wilson after paying whats his face $10 mil a yr and we see how well it turns out. Its really not a big deal. I don’t care who is QB just as long as someone comes in there and wins games. Thats why you have a depth chart.

  10. Woody Johnson loves the attention Rex brings to him and the Jets. Rex is safe for a few years unless something crazy happens (a lot of players arrested, 2 – 14, etc).

  11. Makes sense to me. Must be Mornhinweg’s outstanding track record as a Head Coach in the NFL where he compiled a 5-27 record as the HC of the Detroit Lions.

    Not the least about his smart decisions to take the wind in an OT game before the rules were changed last year.

    The Jets are always a step ahead of everyone else !

  12. @jetswin . . . They were hired the same day. There’s no way Idzik wasn’t involved in selecting Mornhinweg.

  13. @mrpresident2 . . . There’s no way to do it. They owe him $8.25 million guaranteed this year.

  14. mrpresident2 says:
    Apr 27, 2013 9:54 AM
    Why can’t the Jets renegotiate Sanchez’s contract to be more cap friendly? Am I missing something?


    So you are asking why doesn’t Sanchez make it easier for the Jets to cut him while also paying him less to do so? Yeah, makes perfect sense.

  15. I don’t think a second round QB pick is going to get anyone fired anytime soon.

    The story is basically saying Ryan doesn’t want Smith and I don’t believe that to be the case.

    The real statement made here is that Tebo is def leaving for somewhere but where?

  16. It is a legitimate question. Obvious (and also accurate) that Geno provides much more upside and promise than what they currently have on the roster. But typically, yes… new HCs and OCs like to have their own “guy” taking the snaps. Idzik had to take Smith here, but this is the type of dilemma that having a lame duck HC poses.

  17. wow, a jets related florio post that isn’t insulting, demeaning and berating our team. thanks Mike.

    interesting post, thought provoking. wiggy raved about geno, and we got him. will be interesting to see how he can develop this kid. as i’ve said elsewhere, at the very least, well respected football people know morningwig is a competent OC and is good with qb’s, something we did not have last year (arguably ever). I don’t, however, like the idea of him as HC, based on his horrible performance with the lions.

    only time will tell. I am liking this draft thus far. ivory can be a stud, and we’re building our lines.

    go jets

  18. mr9teen says:
    Apr 27, 2013 10:08 AM
    I am so sick of the media overcoverage and speculation of the Jets. If we went out and picked a WR or TE it would be scrutinized ad nauseum. ..


    Dude, it’s NY. If you can’t handle it, then the Jags are looking for a few new fans.

  19. Rex has won 38 games the last 4 years with Mark Sanchez at QB. Isn’t it possible that Idzik wanted to see what he could do with that unfortunate situation out of the way?

    I’m betting Rex is Jets head coach for quite awhile.

  20. I hope you didn’t sprain any muscles stretching for that one.

    Just because the Jets have 175 QBs on the roster doesn’t mean they have any good ones. And there is certainly no one at the position that would preclude you from taking a player at 39 that many people had rated in the top 10 or even the top 5.

    If Ryan is canned this year but Smith shows promise, it certainly isn’t a given that any new coach from outside the organization would demand to bring in his own guy. See Kelly, Chip as it relates to Vick, Michael.

  21. He was the best QB in this draft and Mark Sanchez was a reach when they traded up for him in 2009, just had a tremendous defense carry him for a couple of years, hiding how bad he was progressing.

    This new GM came from Seattle where they drafted Russell Wilson, and I think he sees some of the same intangibles in Smith. He’s certainly a student of the game, a smart QB from all accounts, has the physical attributes, and is a very accurate passer, a knock on his game I’ve seen from some “experts” that’s the most laughable of all. He wasn’t a perfect prospect, so I think they got him right where they should have and alot of teams will be regretting passing on him in hindsight once Mornhinweg is able to work with polishing his footwork, imo the biggest shortcoming of his game coming into the league.

  22. Whatever happens, one thing is sure. It will be entertaining. It’s the Jets after all. Grab your popcorn people!

  23. Also, if you were going to speculate on the “replacement on staff” angle, I would think Dennis Thurman, who’s been highly respected as an understudy to Rex and the Baltimore tenure for years, not Mornhinweg who we all know isn’t cut out for HC, would be the guy you’d toss out there.

  24. It wouldn’t be the first time a poor offense got a HC replaced by an OC. Garrett sabotoged the Cowboys to steal the job from Philips.

  25. Good work Jets. You got the guy in the 2nd that everybody thought you would get in the first round

  26. WHat I don’t get is. Gino can’t throw deep ball well neither can Sanchez. So how is this upgrade. Tebow can’t throw short passes but throws deep balls better.

    Jets need wr te Bad choice at number 13. Coulda got extra 3rd or even 4th to drop down in 1st round n still made out great with a lb or te

  27. Or the next head coach will be someone who already has ties to Marty Morhninweg. Someone like Jon Gruden who also has ties to Idzik.

    One thing to remember is that Geno is only a 2nd round pick. Kellen Clemens was a 2nd round pick and he never took away the job from Pennington nor Favre nor Sanchez.

  28. Mornenwheg (or however you spell that goofball’s name) has a revolutionary new offense planned: the full-house quarterback backfield. Four of the six will be in the huddle, then line up in T-formation or variations thereof, with one or more moving to tight end, wideout, etc. That way, defenses will be left wondering which one it’ll be who can’t throw the ball.

  29. I just looked at Geno Smith celebrating after finally getting drafted and thought to myself that this poor kid has no idea what is in store for him.

    I honestly wish Milliner Island and Broadway Geno the best of luck.

  30. Florio, I’m glad you’re trying to make sense of what the Jets do. Because I sure can’t.

  31. I don’t get why on earth this is that big of a deal. Sanchez is horrible and a 1st roundish caliber QB fell into their laps in the 2nd round. Seems like a smart pick if you ask me, much smarter than what they did to select Sanchez.

  32. Don’t get it.

    They don’t like Tebow, but they draft Smith?

    Isn’t this is the same Smith that didn’t win squat in college, put up similar numbers (worse QB rating and didn’t produce all of the running yards and TDs that Tebow produced) in a joke conference, but then went 7-6 the big 12…another conference that doesn’t play defense?

    This on top of the fact that he is a slight build for the NFL at 6’2″ 3/8 and 218 lbs soaking wet?

    On top of all of that, he also is a head case…planning to leave NYC in a hissy fit before his agent knocked some sense into him.

    This will likely end badly.

  33. Only the Jets would come up with such a Machiavellian arrangement that involves recycling a coach like Mornhinweg, who has already been a bust as a head coach.

  34. The Jets are a joke. I’m not sure what is more hilarious – the downward spiral of the Jets or the fans who keep defending the pick. Geno Smith was exposed after a few good weeks.

  35. Hopefully this pick of of Geno Smith will get Sanchez out of N.Y. If Smith shows anything at all in preseason Sanchez will end up a second or third string QB, and in Sanchez case I use the QB designation very loosely, as he has been pretending to be a QB since he got to the Jets. One way or the other this is his swan song with the Jets, and good riddance.

  36. I do not think this was a good pick for the Jets. I know that they have a real problem at the QB position and they need a QB who can help them win games. Nonetheless, I just don’t think Geno Smith is the right choice. I think Geno has talent and I believe in the right system with the right coach he could be very successful. NY does not have the right system nor the right coach. Also, I have read alot about Geno and he dosen’t come across as the most level-headed and confident guy. That coupled with the fact that he will have to deal with the NY media and Jet fans who are extremely dissapointed in their team could all be too much for him. I know this past season’s starting young quarterbacks probably come every 5-10 years but Geno just doesn’t compare to them mentally. Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, RG3, and Colin Kaepernick were all first year starters who just oozed confidence. When you watched them play you didn’t think they were first year starters because they acted like accomplished Veterans. They led there teams and they didn’t let what people would say about them frustrate them and no matter what you threw at them they were prepared to handle it. Geno doen’t come across that way, he seems to let what people say about him get to him and he doesn’t seem to handle pressure well. I mean no disrespect to him at all but he has been caught looking depressed on the sidelines during games in which his team wasn’t doing well instead of rallying his teammates. If you want to be a successful QB in the NFL you have to have extreme confidence in yourself and in your ability, and you can never let what people say about you get to you. Geno took it “personal” that people didn’t think he should be a first round pick and he simply cannot do that. Russell Wilson didn’t take it “personal” that people didn’t draft him in the first round because of his height, but he did work his butt off to prove those people wrong and look where it has landed him. Kaepernick didn’t take it “personal” that he wasn’t drafted in the first round because people believed he was the product of a gimmick offense, but he did work his butt off to prove those people wrong and look where it has gotten him. Lastly, his work ethic has been brought into question and I know many people think it was simply because of his race but the truth is, is that RG3, Wilson, and Kaepernick are the same race and they have been criticized for different things. However, their work ethic was never brought into question. In fact, their high character, and work ethic were the reasons a few teams liked them rather than the reason a few teams decided not to draft them.

    I like Geno and I hope he succeeds but I do have my doubts.

  37. I love the posts that say Smith didn’t win in college. In his junior and senior year, he won 1 game less than the almighty Brady. He also threw 20 more Tds and allot less picks. He also had the worst defense in the country.
    Keep hatin’!

  38. Gator fool- Its true That Geno struggled to produce TD’s in his 3 years as starter. He only through for 97 Td’s!
    That’s 67 more than Brady through and……14 more than your precious Tebow.
    Also through for 3000 more yards! good facts, though!

  39. 2 championship appearances in last 4 years:
    NE Patriots
    Green Bay
    San Fransisco
    NY Jets

    Keep Hatin’!

  40. Mornhinweg!!! Really! The guy who never heald a significant position with any team til the Lions (I mean Matt Millen) made him a head coach!? If he’s Rex’s replacement the Jets will continue to struggle.

  41. Any new head coach wouldn’t be married to Smith. Dude was only a second rounder, there’s not gonna be any sort of financial committment for 4 years at the earliest.

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