NY Jets' Rex Ryan holds Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith and media in limbo regarding starting QB position

COLUMN: NY Jets continue self-fulfilling prophecy at QB

9/3/13 in NFL   |   wsykes1   |   3 respect

First year general manager John Idzik, stuck with the complications of Sanchez’s albatross-like contract hanging over his neck, further complicated the quarterback situation by bringing in journeyman game manager David Garrard on March 11th. Signed to push Sanchez for the starter’s role, Garrard, 35, hadn’t played since 2010 due to chronic knee and back issues. Yet Idzik and the Jets brass fully believed he could unseat Sanchez in a training camp position battle.

Idzik never got a chance to see that happen. Garrard retired just two months after signing a two-year contract -- the first signing by Idzik as a Jet -- citing chronic knee issues holding him back from competing at 100%.

Younger and healthier quarterback options were available at the time Idzik was looking at Garrard -- guys like Jason Campbell, Matt Moore and Quinn were free agents with Alex Smith and Matt Flynn available on the trading block. All of them could have pushed Sanchez out of the starter’s role and allowed Smith to develop on the practice field. But now, Smith may be forced to travel the same road as Sanchez while being asked to avoid the potholes he previously stumbled over.

Now Idzik, Ryan and the Jets were forced to bring in Quinn just six days prior to the start of the regular. In all likelihood Quinn will be nothing more than a veteran safety valve should Sanchez’s shoulder be worse than initially diagnosed, but Quinn wouldn’t be left to cram Marty Mornhinweg’s system in his head if he went to New York instead of spending training camp with the Seattle Seahawks.

Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: John O'Boyle/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports“I’ve got a lot on my plate,” Quinn said Monday. “I just got here late last night and I’m still trying to get adjusted to everything.”

The best circus act this side of Dallas will continue to be on display as long as the quarterback carousel continues to turn. Something Ryan, now in his fifth year as a head coach, has yet to fully grasp -- or do anything to stop it.

“Being my fifth year, there are some things that maybe I’ve learned, timing of things might be better. I’ve probably learned a bit from that through the years, maybe,” Ryan said.

Maybe he has. And maybe he hasn’t.

The quarterback position has been the weak link Ryan’s four previous years with the Jets -- with the quarterback play more-than-likely costing the organization at least one Super Bowl victory. Whether its Sanchez, Smith, Quinn or Simms the quarterback play may cost Ryan his job.

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