Rex Ryan considering return to color-coded rules to limit turnovers


Back in 2009, the Jets had a rookie quarterback named Mark Sanchez who turned the ball over too often so they decided to color-code the playbook in order to make it clear when he was supposed to take risks and when he was supposed to play it safe.

The red-yellow-green system came and went, but Sanchez never found a way to cut down on the turnovers. That and a preseason shoulder injury for Sanchez are the reasons why they have another rookie quarterback this season. With Geno Smith turning the ball over 11 times in the first 4 games, it feels a bit like history repeating itself and the suggestion was made on these pages earlier this week that the Jets might consider a similar response.

Or the same response. Seth Walder of the New York Daily News reports that coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday that he’s thinking about reinstituting the old system of managing risk to deal with Smith’s propensity for handing the ball to the other team.

“I’ve been thinking about it. Kind of a fine line, as you guys even talked about it earlier, about being aggressive but being smart with it as well,” Ryan said. “We want to be aggressive, there’s no question, you want to be aggressive, but you don’t want to do something to the detriment of your football team. Clearly, turning the football over, has been a real problem, not just this season but the last couple of seasons as well. And we all know what that leads to.”

It looks like wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill will miss Monday night’s game against the Falcons, which shapes up to a difficult night for the offense and a long one for the defense even if they don’t turn the ball over. Turnovers would make things much worse, making it imperative that the team do whatever it can to eliminate them.