Jets and Bills wager future on rookies Geno Smith, EJ Manuel
Smith was labeled as the top quarterback picks for the draft in April. But he went undrafted till the second round when the Jets picked him at No.39. Manuel was selected at No.16 during the first round of NFL draft. This also puts them in the spotlight as they were the only two quarterbacks to be drafted till the second round. Now they will have a chance to show which one of them is a better quarterback.
A few months back this situation seemed to have little chance of occurring. The Bills and Jets had ready options to choose to fill quarterback position but Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb went out suddenly with injuries. With David Garrad of Jets bowing out to retirement, Smith got a chance to prove he is game enough to handle the plays.
Both the quarterbacks were suffering from preseason injuries for the past two weeks and were responsible for leading their game to late wins and had lost to the Patriots to a close margin. On Sunday they will face off to sack a win for their teams.
The Bills have shown interest to keep Manuel as a continuing player for quarterback position and are willing to rest their franchise on him. On the other hand, the Jets are analyzing Smith on a weekly basis and have yet to confirm their decision. But both of them will need to show real game improvement to cement their positions.
Regarding Smith, Hall of Famer Warren Moon said "He either has to make his first or second read and take off and run and make something happen, or go somewhere with the football and not take the sacks that he's taking."
The Bills have shown clear intentions to put Manuel in the quarterback position and create an understanding between him and their coach Doug Marrone, both of whom are doing their first year with them.
"My philosophy has always been that the players know I was looking at one of the quarterbacks to separate themselves where the players can rally around and say he's our quarterback,” said Doug Marrone when asked about Smith. “That's why he's our starting quarterback.”