THE NEW YORK JETS HAVE FOUR QUARTERBACKS ON THEIR ROSTER. NONE OF WHOM HAVE BEEN NAMED THE WEEK 1 STARTER. HAVING TOO MANY QBs & NOT ONE STAR HAS BEEN AN ISSUE SINCE BROADWAY JOE.
As the old football adage goes, if you have two quarterbacks you don’t have one. In the case of the New York Jets, who recently shuffled Graham Harrell for Brady Quinn, what does it say if you have four?
Mark Sanchez. Geno Smith. Quinn. Matt Simms.
Two have never started a professional game of meaning. The other two are former first-round picks who have floundered their lofty expectations and fallen into football anonymity. All of them, however, are not considered to be the answer to any of 2013’s questions as the Jets are preparing for their Week 1 opener against Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In a period that many football experts are referring to as the ‘golden age for quarterbacks’, the Jets quarterback position is looking more aluminum than gold.
“We might be heavy in some positions, [but] we’re obviously light in other positions,” head coach Rex Ryan said in his Monday press conference.
Being light at the quarterback position is something Jets fans have grown accustomed to since they said goodbye to Broadway Joe Namath and his super guarantee. Since Namath’s last game in 1976, the Jets have had at least two quarterbacks start at least one game during the regular season in 22 of the next 36 years.
And 2013 is shaping up to be the twenty-third season.
With Sanchez still yet to throw a pass since suffering a right shoulder injury on August 24 against the New York Giants, logic dictates the rookie Smith will get the starting nod against the Buccaneers.
When referring to the Jets, however, thinking logically is hardly, well, logical. Ryan, usually candid with the media, has been unusually quiet on the topic of who’ll be starting Sunday -- something that has been peeving media members since Day 2 of the NFL Draft when they selected Smith 39th overall.
“Let’s just let this thing play out and we’ll see number, if Mark can practice. I don’t want to assume anything. We’ll lean on the trainers and the doctors, and if Mark can practice then maybe our answers will be different on Wednesday than today.”
Wednesday may be too late for the Jets season and, perhaps, Ryan’s tenure in New York. Former Jets head coach and current ESPN personality Herm Edwards has repeatedly stated that the teams that consistently produce are the teams that are set at the quarterback position. It’s the only singular position that can directly affect the outcome of a game.
It’s the only position the Jets have, historically, never been able to figure out -- long before Sanchez began committing turnovers at a league-high rate. With brief stints of brilliance from the Ken O’Brien’s, Vinny Testaverde’s and Chad Pennington’s of yesteryear peppered in their history, visions of Brooks Bollinger, Kellen Clemens, Quincy Carter, Rick Mirer, Bubby Brister and Richard Todd haunt Jets fans over the years.