- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Hold the Matt Simms speculation.
Rex Ryan downplayed an ESPN report that suggested Simms, the New York Jets' No. 2 quarterback, has some support within the organization and could replace Geno Smith at some point if the rookie continues to struggle.
"Well, I think there are a lot of guys that like Simms, I don't think there's any doubt, but to say as our starting quarterback? I don't see that," Ryan said Thursday. "Again, I'm obviously saying that that couldn't happen, but we see Geno as our starting quarteback now, and that's how we see it. We like Matt -- or Phil, if you want."
Simms was terrific in the preseason, earning a roster spot, but he played exclusively with the backups. He has no regular-season experience. He was the No. 2 quarterback for the first two weeks, ahead of veteran Brady Quinn, who arrived at the end of the preseason.
Smith, coming off a three-interception loss, will face his first pressure point Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. The Smith-led offense has produced only two touchdowns in 28 possessions, with many of those drives undermined by Smith turnovers (five) and sacks (nine).
"We'll go through some ups and downs," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "He's seeing things for the first time. That will continue to happen until he gets some experience. This experience for him is invaluable in the long run."
Mornhinweg said Smith has done "a fine job with the exception of really maybe a few more than a handful of plays." A few more than a handful? That's a significant amount, considering they've played only two games.
The Jets could reduce some burden on Smith by running the ball more often. Their pass-run ratio is 63-37 -- hardly a surprise for the pass-happy Mornhinweg, but a radical departure for Ryan, who once espoused a Ground & Pound philosophy.
Mornhinweg clamed "this is more than I've ever run the ball as far as attempts," noting a third-and-7 run in last week's game.
"I haven't done that in I can't remember," he said, laughing and slapping the table for effect.