Rex Ryan had made the mistake of looking too far ahead – and it cost him and his players.
Despite repeated questions Monday about the organization’s refusal to fully throw its support behind rookie Geno Smith, Ryan maintains it’s better to take the week-to-week approach when it comes to the Jets’ starting quarterback.
“I think you get in trouble when you put dates on things instead of just [focusing] on the one week, and that’s for our team,” the coach said. “We want everybody to make sure that they understand this is where our focus is. It’s not going past one week. I think [when] you look down the road, you don’t take care of your business.
“With us, everything we do is focused on Buffalo and that’s where it should be. For us to comment, or for me to comment about things past that, I don’t think it’s good for our team. Everything we do, every bit of our focus is on the present, on our situation right now which is playing Buffalo and preparing for Buffalo. That’s where it is. Anything beyond that, we’re not looking at.”
For the third straight week, Smith has been named the Jets' starting quarterback. And the decision will continue to be made on a week-to-week basis. Some have questioned whether their refusal to stick with Smith for the foreseeable future will impinge on his self-confidence. But those who know the 22-year-old best say confidence and determination will never be an issue for Smith.
The Jets either don’t believe – or care – that Smith’s self-esteem is tied to their weekly announcements about his gameday status. And why should they?
Mark Sanchez – the fifth-year quarterback who never really had to fight for his starting job until this year -- announced this summer that he was having the best camp of his career. Was that simply a coincidence, or did the presence of a true threat raise Sanchez’s level of play this offseason?
Though the Jets have never publicly said they made a mistake in their handling of Sanchez – the fifth overall pick in 2009 – Ryan admitted Monday that, in the past, he’s made the mistake of looking too far ahead.
“I think I get it more now,” he said, “where it’s like, hey look, our fans and everybody else need to know it’s about the moment. It’s not about anything else. It’s about the present and the team that we’re up against. Certainly, there’s no reason to look past this opponent.”
And so, for the time-being, Smith remains “the guy this week.”
“So is David Harris, so is whoever,” Ryan continued. “That’s what we’re looking at. A lot of things can happen. To us, we just handle our business this week and then, after that, we’ll handle our business the next week. We need to take that approach each week as a team and that’s certainly where our focus is.”