Geno Smith Named New York Jets Week 1 Starter

Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has officially been named the New York Jets opening day starter. Embattled incumbent Mark Sanchez hurt his throwing shoulder in a preseason game, and it’s unclear if he’ll ever take another snap for the Jets.

“He’s just not ready right now,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said of Sanchez. “We’ll see what the future holds as we move forward, but clearly right now he’s not ready.”

Geno Smith has appeared somewhat shaky in the preseason, though most of his poor performances came after suffering an ankle injury. The Jets coaching staff says he’s fully recovered and ready to contribute immediately on offense.

“We’ll go through some ups and downs, I can guarantee you that,” Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “Knowing Geno, hopefully there will be more ups than downs. The whole team has to be part of this. Everybody has to play just a notch above for him to perform at a high level.”

“Before he had injured his ankle, he really looked tremendous,” Ryan said of Smith. “He’s back to driving the football.”

The outlook for the entire Jets roster, particularly Sanchez and head coach Ryan, is particularly grim this season. There are two prop bets available asking bettors to wager on their respective odds to still be with the team by the beginning of next season.

Odds to win the 2014 AFC East Division   

  • New England Patriots 1/3
  • Miami Dolphins                      13/4
  • Buffalo Bills                           9/1
  • New York Jets                        14/1

Rex Ryan – Will he be fired or resign before Week 17 of the 2013 Regular Season?    

  • Yes                  -200     (1/2)
  • No                    +150     (3/2)

Mark Sanchez – Will he be a member of the Jets for Game 1 of the 2014 Regular Season?         

  • Yes                  +300     (3/1)
  • No                    -500      (1/5)

The Jets face a much-improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers team in Week 1 of the season, where they’ll see a familiar face lining up in the secondary: Pro Bowl defensive back Darrelle Revis, whom the team traded in the offseason for a first round pick. Ryan, when speaking to the Tampa media, waxed poetic about his former defensive all-star.

“It’s easy, obviously Darrelle was the premier corner in football,” Ryan said. “A physical player that shows up every day to compete. He’s an excellent teammate. He’s tougher than heck. It was a joy to coach him, I can tell you that much. He’s a great teammate. He probably leads a little differently. He’s not as vocal. But every single teammate will recognize what he does. He doesn’t let you catch a ball in walk through. He’s a tremendous competitor and obviously one of the rare guys that you coach.’’

The Jets are 3.5-point underdogs in the game against the Bucs, and many prognosticators have picked the team to be one of the very worst in the NFL this season. In its inaugural power rankings column, an ESPN panel of experts ranked the Jets dead last in the league. Geno Smith’s performance this season remains a subject of debate, but no matter what, the Jets will likely struggle to find much team success this year.

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