New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Jets sticking with Geno Smith this week
Geno Smith didn't have to wait long to find out his fate.
The Jets rookie quarterback told reporters that he will, in fact, start Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
Smith -- who was benched at the start of the second half of the Jets' 23-3 home-loss to Miami Sunday -- said he was informed of the coaching staff's decision by quarterbacks coach David Lee when he arrived at the team's facility early Monday.
Rex Ryan is scheduled to address reporters at 4:45 p.m.
Smith, who was benched in favor of Matt Simms for the third time this season, completed just 4 of 10 passes for 29 yards and no touchdowns against the Dolphins. He left the coaches no choice but to yank him after closing out the first half with an 8.3 passer rating, an interception and just two first downs on offense.
But Smith said he wasn't nervous about the possibility he wouldn't get the start this week. He maintained that he remains confident in his ability, adding "it's hard for people to believe that with the tough stretch we've had." The rookie also said several teammates have approached him offering their support -- gestures that Smith said make him more determined than ever to bounce back.
On the other end of the locker room, Simms offered nothing but support in Smith as well. Though the backup quarterback admitted he wants to be on the field as any "competitor" would.
"Nevertheless, Geno's the man," Simms said, adding that he'll continue to root for Smith from the sidelines as he's done all season.
Asked for a self-assessment of his performance Sunday (9 of 18 for 79 yards), Simms joked: "I did enough to solidify I am the No. 2. At least I didn't play myself out of a job."
He also said his famous father, Phil, offered critiques of his own -- though Simms preferred to keep much of their conversation private. Except for one part.
"He was pleased I didn't make it worse," Simms said with a smile.
Having Smith start the next game doesn't necessarily rid the Jets of a potential quarterback controversy. It remains to be seen whether the rookie will be able to rebound from another disastrous performance and whether or not Smith will have a short leash against the Raiders. If he struggles, the Jets may find themselves in a similar situation to Sunday.
It appears David Garrard was never an option to start this week -- though some Jets fans have been clamoring to see a QB with experience.
Though Garrard genuinely seemed optimistic that Smith can bounce back ("He has it in him," the veteran said), he stressed that his knee is healthy and he's able to play if called upon.