Posted August 25, 2013

The Big Orlovsky: Geno Smith throws three picks, runs out of own end zone in first NFL start

AFC East, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC East, Uncategorized
Geno Smith, on the occasion of his Orlovsky moment. (Getty Images/Al Bello)

Geno Smith, on the occasion of his Orlovsky moment. (Getty Images/Al Bello)

There have been some epically horrible quarterback battles throughout NFL history, but it’s tough to think of one worse than the one going on with the New York Jets. Rex Ryan has been vacillating between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith throughout the preseason, weighing whether he can get anything out of Sanchez in his fifth season, or if it’s time to punt on that experiment and let Smith, 2013′s second-round pick, learn on the job.

After three games, all Ryan knows about his situation is that he has no quarterback ready to start an NFL game in a competent fashion. Smith, whose progression has been limited by injury, threw three howling picks in the first half of Saturday’s 24-21 overtime win over the New York Giants, and capped off his first NFL start by running out of the end zone in the fourth quarter as he was being chased by Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich. This play, of course, brought to mind what former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky did in his first NFL start in October of 2008. In what may have been the most face-palming moment of the 0-16 Lions’ season, Orlovsky forgot where he was and bailed out of his own end zone.

Smith did throw a first-quarter touchdown to receiver Ben Obomanu in the first quarter, but other than that, he looked overwhelmed — and it didn’t help that his receivers were dropping balls and allowing Giants defenders to out-muscle them in space. Smith ended his game with 16 completions in 30 attempts for 199 yards, that one touchdown, those three picks, and a safety in what seemed to be the most embarrassing play of the night.

Until, that is, Sanchez came in to spell Smith with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter — a move that didn’t make a lot of sense. He was playing behind a backup offensive line, and that’s not generally how you want to treat a possible starter making $8.5 million in base salary this year. He was sacked by defensive tackle Marvin Austin on his first play, and later threw a pass in the general direction of backup right guard Caleb Schlauderaff. This, of course, continued Sanchez’s affinity for right guards, best personified by the “Buttfumble” that happened last Thanksgiving evening against the New England Patriots when Sanchez ran into the butt of then-right guard Brandon Moore, and promptly lost the ball.

And as one might have predicted would happen when a team puts a balky quarterback behind a backup line, Sanchez got hurt on the second play of his second drive when he threw to receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and took a hard shot from Austin. Sanchez was down on the field with a shoulder injury, and he eventually walked to the locker room with his right (throwing) shoulder wrapped. Matt Simms then came in for the Jets, who probably looked best on offense at the end of the first half, when running back Bilal Powell was taking direct snaps.

The Jets won after botching a late-game field goal not once, but twice, after Tom Coughlin called timeout as Nick Folk missed the potential game-winner.  Folk missed the following kick and the game went to overtime. Coughlin tried to ice Billy Cundiff in overtime, but his luck ran out as Cundiff’s field sailed wide on a play that didn’t count. Following the timeout, Cundiff drilled the game-winner.

Smith is an inexperienced player at this level, and few would mistake Sanchez for anything approaching a top-tier NFL quarterback, but the blame for this debacle should be placed firmly on the shoulders of the Jets’ coaching staff. Putting Sanchez in the game under those circumstances was a ridiculous move, and the team may now be dealing with the worst-case scenario.

Then again, when it comes to their quarterbacks, what else have the Jets had in their recent past?

“That was a coach’s decision — that was my decision all the way,” Ryan said after the game. “You’re talking about competing all week, you’re talking about winning a game, and that was my decision. He was 5-of-6 passing, he looked decent, he had the fumble (of a snap), and the unfortunate injury, but it was my decision to let him go in the game … We’re there to win. We had our starters out there for the first three quarters because we’re trying to win the game. We’re trying to compete, and everybody’s out there. Injuries are part of the game.”

Pressed repeatedly by the media to say where he was in the Smith-Sanchez battle, Ryan said over and over that the decision would be made at the appropriate time. At one point in his postgame press conference he said that he could answer the question any way he wanted, and turned sideways at the podium to answer it from a different angle.

108 comments
nyjets011269
nyjets011269

Believe me, I am well grounded.  No one was saying Smith is going to be Unitas but to criticize him this heavily after one preseason start is ludicrous. You can have an opinion, but no one really knoes how he is going to turn out at this point in his career.  Unitas was drafted in the 9th round by the Steelers and cut.  The Colts gave him a tryout and the rest is history although it took two weeks after the Colts starting QB was lost for the season.  Fate plays a big role.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Geno Smith has mis shaped head that spells a lack of intelligence.

jeture
jeture

Rex Ryan is a lot of things. A competent NFL head coach is not one of them. Yes, he got to the AFC Championship Game twice, but those days might as well have been back in the football Dark Ages.  

Mark20
Mark20

Rex Ryan: most over rated head coach in the NFL. He's been useless.

subscriptions
subscriptions

Farrer drew the comparison with Orlovsky then made the following statement:

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" Orlovsky forgot where he was and bailed out of his own end zone."

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But Smith did neither of those two things. He knew where he was and made a serious effort to get rid of the ball before stepping out of bounds. It's obvious the first time you watch the film.

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I don't have a horse in this race, I'm a Cowboys fan. Couldn't care less about Jets, Ryan. Smith, Sanchez, any of 'em. But this story is an inaccurate, unfair cheap-shot on a rookie mistake made by a ROOKIE.

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And Farrer's a lazy journalist who won't get off his duff and go research a real story.

BallRush
BallRush

Look...  the root cause of all of this is Woody Johnson.  He hired Ryan and continued to support him.   But the problem here is Ryan.  Personally, I was shocked Ryan wasn't fired the day the foot fetish videos emerged.  Think about it - this isn't just a fetish.  Ryan had to a) have the fetish, b) script the screen play, c) get a video camera, d) rehearse, e) act, f) post it on a forum, and g) then do more of them!  What self-respecting CEO in business, or owner in football, would let this guy continue to lead and be the figurehead of his organization?  But wait, there's more..  Ryan's coaches and players are essentially allowed to talk to the press - which does nothing more than create a media circus.  He's got players saying derogatory things about other players, and coaches that talk about players.  Coaches are commenting on player's progress or lack of, their ability to make the team, etc.  And many times they contradict each other.  Must be great to be a player on that team.  But wait, there's even more..  he was shocked to find out he LOST control of his players a couple of seasons ago, and he admitted he lost the locker room.  You can't lose the locker room!  You just can't!  It's coaching 101.  Players saying derogatory things about other players AND the fans?  OMG.  But wait, there's more..  he brings Tebow in, and he and other coaches give us a variety of ideas about how they will use him.  Ryan allows a media circus to swirl around the team, and he even takes question after question about Tebow, encouraging more media coverage of course.  But wait, there's more...  the Jets then sign Sanchez to a multi-year lucrative contract with huge guarantees.  What???  But wait, there's more...  during the season, he uses Tebow in the absolute worst way possible.  He not only underutilizes and misutilizes Tebow, but he batters Sanchez' confidence at the same time.  But wait, there's more...  the Jets are horrible under Ryan.  But wait... Fireman Ed says "I'm done".  What?   But wait there's more...  right now, Tebow would be the best QB on the Jets roster.

In summary, the Jets are the laughing stock of not just the NFL, but all professional sports.  It doesn't matter if they win 0, 3 or 6 games this year, they are the absolute poster child for poor management.

My suggestion:  Jets fans need to unite and say enough is enough.  I would put severe economic and public pressure on Woody to get out of dodge, or at least hand over ALL decisions to someone else.  I understand the need to hang on to season tickets, but I highly recommend you stop buying game day tickets and stop buying Jets licensed products.  I would boycott any advertiser who pays money to the Jets for anything.  I would flood the Governor's office with signed petitions declaring that the Jets management puts New York State in a severely bad light.  I would write letters to the editor.  And on and on.

I'm a fan of another team, so I'm not participating.  But if someone did this to my team?  No way would I be sitting back like Jets fans are.  Take back the Jets!


Jean
Jean

The Idiot jetlesses tried to Ruin Tebow and in the end have ruined their Idiot selves. Pay Back is HELL.

eddie767
eddie767

The Jets drafted not one but two qb's,who had one semi good college season. Then thought they were NFL ready,wrong. Smith might,if he sits,turn in to one. Ryan should be fired now,forgive him he knows not what he's doing, find a vet qb and start the rebuild now. Who's going #1 in the'14 draft and are they going to pull a Manning on the Jets?

mobetta
mobetta

Hot danm!!!  Tebow is available!!!  BWAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Again people be truthful, is that so hard...NO wonder why people are so messed up, honestly is like a disease for many... 

He stepped on the white line / crossed it NO / touched it Yes, big difference, you made it seem as if he ran perpendicular to the white line. 
 
What was Geno doing at the time he touched the white line.... In the middle of throwing the ball away.  I am not sold on Geno , but one thing i am is FAIR,  just like i gave Sanchez  time to prove what i knew about him was true, i will give Geno the same also

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Okay, how about this: Sanchez butt fumbles, recovers, THEN runs out of the back of the end zone.

Cool
Cool

There is a lot of bad stuff said about Jerry Jones as an owner, and rightfully so in my opinion, but for the life of me I can't understand why people aren't just as harsh with Woody Johnson.  It isn't like he is an owner just sitting in his office doing nothing, he is making and supporting these bonehead decisions by Rex... why isn't there more outrage over this moron of an owner>

DSM
DSM

I can understand putting Sanchez in to win a local rivalry--but behind a second string line?  I would feel sorrier for Ryan if he were not such a braggart and sorrier for Sanchez if he had not seemed to enjoy dating models as much or more than learning his craft.

decredico
decredico

jets should can this clown ryan before the season starts .... what a complete idiot

horsley1953
horsley1953

Everyone is saying Tebow is so awful he is sure to be released by the Pats, maybe the Jets can get Tebow back!

help4mac1
help4mac1

Matt Simms! I-T I-S A N-0 B-R-A-I-N-E-R

hilltanktx
hilltanktx

I have been watching Greg McElroy since high school in Southlake, TX.  The kid is a winner and he plays smart.    I don't think he ever lost a game at Southlake or Alabama.  He knows how to win.  Give him a chance!!

Jim21
Jim21

With the the coverage the Jets get by "national" (aka, east coast biased ESPN, CNN), you'd think the QB battle was between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But it's not... No one outside of the biased east coast media CARES about the Jets. 

K-Jun
K-Jun

That was one for the ages. Sorry I missed it. Rex and his GM better freshen up resumes. After this season it will be time to start over for the Jets. You may as well pick your keepers by drawing straws. 

Jets are the Saints of old. At least in the beginning our rejects from other teams played their hearts out and did beat the crap out of the other team physically. Jets will tank after 4 games. 

golferx
golferx

NO ONE CARES ABOUT THOSE STINKING JETS! GET THEM OFF THE FRONT PAGE!!!

glengarryblake
glengarryblake

Rex's father, Buddy, once called a Philly caller a "dumb@$$" when the caller had the temerity to suggest that punting the ball away on third down was not "improving field position," as the Eagles' HC had stupidly described it.  This is Rex's coaching lineage - good D coordinator, horrible HC.  And obnoxious at almost all times.  It is fun to watch Ryan cause the Jets to implode.

DennyG
DennyG

Let's spell Jets.....D.I.S.M.A.L.

CasinoGal
CasinoGal

In a related story, Sanchez' Fu Manchu moustache was messed up while his headband has been repossessed by Olivia Newton-John.

gary41
gary41

When you make a mistake in drafting the QB position, it is going to hurt for years to come, with insecurity waiting in the next draft.  This is why it pays to have a scouting staff & QB coach in place, difficult as it is, making themselves expert in this very crucial consideration.  The Jets had several better options, but passed them over, taking a gamble as if this were the only possibility available.  This is a management error in judgment, made all the worse by failing to learn from mistakes.  Rex Ryan will get fired, because the front office has no clue.    

BMorris2711
BMorris2711

this is national news? to who? the half dozen Jets fans that show up to the draft every year and get shown on tv? the jets have struggled to be relevant since Namath left, yet somehow they're regularly featured in these "national" sites. 

BobWells
BobWells

Jets haven't played one game and they are already with no QB and people are asking for the coaches head. Stay Classy NY Jets. This organization  is a laugh.

Matthew W
Matthew W

Replace the owner, replace the Head Coach, and replace the starting QB and the Jets will improve. 

Sanchez needed the reps. He's an average at best QB and Rex was giving him yet another chance to improve. Sanchez promptly did what Sanchez does best which is choke. He's proven he isn't starting QB material with his consistently poor play and now he's proven he cannot even handle being a back up. Cut him.

geoAZ
geoAZ

McElroy has been the Jets best QB for a few years and now that Rex has had some time to put his full imprint on the team...he has to be fired...bring Marty in !!

Rob56
Rob56

All the Giants do is come from behind to wim Superbowls. Rex is following in Daddy's footsteps. Greta Coordinators, but...

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Jets took the first step back to respectability after last season when they canned a horrible GM who put together this joke of a roster and got rid of a diva cornerback who wants his contract renegotiated after every game. It will take time. 

rskins09
rskins09

@jeture    Rex Ryan is all show and no dough ...Way over rated as a coach ..

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@BallRush You lost me when you said the 'root cause of all of this is Woody Johnson' and then almost immediately after that 'the problem here is Ryan'.  

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

@Jean 

How can you ruin something that is already crap !!!  a negative 1 (-1) passing yard is all i need to know about Tebow...   @Jean you do know there is an "S" on the end of "yard" WHY you ask? because the NFL figured any idiot could gain 2 yards passing the ball hence the term "passing yards" Please stop embarrassing yourself,  and get back to your favorite hobby... scratching Fido's balls while pretending it belongs to Tebow.

jeture
jeture

@mobetta Last time I checked, he was still on the Patriots' roster. For now, anyway.

BallRush
BallRush

@Cool  Point taken... both have ruined their franchises.  But, because Jerry Jones puts himself out there as a football expert, he's the national failure.  He's on the sidelines, in front of the cameras, does long involved interviews, he's the general manager, etc etc.  Jones is a high profile failure who can't see beyond his own inflated ego.  Woody is a failure too...  but doesn't tout himself as the second coming.

Zeshan
Zeshan

@Jim21 Jim, I'm a West Coaster and I *love* the news about the Jets. Why? Because every year a team should be made the laughing stock of the NFL. And right now, it's the Jets. Prime time TV sitcom at its best. Add in a little Benny Hill theme music and you've got real entertainment.

DSM
DSM

@glengarryblake Very true--and his brother appears to be even worse--not even a good coordinator.

BklynJerry
BklynJerry

@BMorris2711  I also can't understand the interest. This is one of the worst teams in the league.

glengarryblake
glengarryblake

@Matthew W Maybe the Jets can trade for a different USC non-QB, like Leinart, Booty or Barkley... 

glengarryblake
glengarryblake

@geoAZ Rob Ryan as new HC would be more the Jets' style, dontchathink?!  What a joke organization.

BallRush
BallRush

@Shane Mac @BallRush  Yup.. understand your confusion.  Root cause in my definition is answering the question "what is the source of the problem?".  The owner has had the ability at any time during the last couple of years to shut Rex down.  So the root cause, in my opinion, is that Woody hasn't and doesn't stop this craziness.  Or simpler said - Ryan is the problem, Woody is the enabler.  Maybe that's all I should have said at the beginning of my post.  Thanks.

help4mac1
help4mac1

@parkbrav The idea that de-Sanchize and Dream of Geno are better than Simms is laughable. But of course if he doesn't get off the bench, who's to know. Neither of those guys can throw a pass like Simm's TD last night. And pedigree counts for something.

help4mac1
help4mac1

@DSM @parkbrav Chris Simms had a very bad internal injury, but wasn't too bad before. Hey, the kid is 6'3" 210 lbs with a rifle for an arm and throws an accurate pass. He give them the best chance to win. Desanchize needs to move to a new team and dream of Gino needs at least a year. Simms is ready to roll and fire the cannon down field. As they say life is what happens when you are busy making plans. The Jets would be nuts to go with anyone but Simms. 

DSM
DSM

@help4mac1 @parkbrav I agree the Jets are dysfunctional, but, other than the Manning brothers, when did pedigree count for something with QBs, especially in this case, where Chris Simms has not achieved pro success?