The New York Jets traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency. Everyone believes that Fitzpatrick will be starting quarterback due to his relationship with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, but don’t count out Geno Smith. If the Jets are going to have any success next season to make the playoffs, they need Smith to breakout and take the next step in year three as the starting quarterback. Here are three reasons why he will have a breakout season.
1. Better Offensive Cast
General Manager Mike Maccagnan and Head Coach Todd Bowles already done some work on improving the offense. They traded for Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears on getting a number one target. Marshall is an upgrade over Eric Decker, who is better suited as a second target rather than a first. They already are talking to each other and developing chemistry before training camp starts which is a good sign for things to come. Drafting Devon Smith from Ohio State can also be a difference to the offense due to his speed and deep threat abilities.
They still have young receivers in Jeremy Kerley and Jace Amaro who develop some chemistry with Smith. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell in the backfield can help out Smith in the spread offense. They also added Zac Stacy and Stevan Ridley to the offense which can provide different roles for the running backs. The pieces are in place for the offense. The final piece is if Smith can limit his turnovers and maximize the offense to a new level.
2. Better Defensive Cast
The Jets improved their defense exponentially with the signing of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. They also signed safety Marcus Gilchrist from the Chargers to pair up with Calvin Pryor. They resigned David Harris for the linebacker core to be solid and took one in the draft for depth. If the Jets sign a long term contract with Muhammad Wilkerson, the defense can be top five in the NFL with Bowles aggressive defensive scheme. Also with the sixth pick being Leonard Williams in the first round of the NFL Draft, it can potentially be the be
There is no pressure on Smith to perform at the highest level since the defense can create opportunities for him from interceptions and fumbles. But the pressure can come back to him if he fails and losses his position on a potentially great defense.
3. Better Physical Talent and Potential Over Fitzpatrick in the Competition.
Bringing in competition for the quarterback position is what the Jets needed to do. Michael Vick’s presence last season didn’t help out Smith and even made it a competition from the beginning. The signing of Fitzpatrick give them a viable starting quarterback and knows Gailey’s system. But Fitzpatrick is not the answer.
Overall Smith is healthy and has a better upside over Fitzpatrick. Smith is 6″3 221 lbs with a strong arm, mobility in the pocket and the ability to run on the field. Fitzpatrick is 6’2 223 lbs and an average quarterback at best. He doesn’t wow anyone on changing the game, but has the quarterback smarts and mental toughness over Smith. They are similar in terms of physical attributions, but Fitzpatrick broke his leg last season with the Texans.
He is recovering from his injury and will most likely be ready until training camp which gives Smith an advantage. It’s up to Smith on winning the competition fair and square. He needs to show the organization that he is the franchise quarterback moving forward and can be consistent over time.