Rex Ryan let Geno Smith twist in the wind for 24 hours, but there was never much doubt that he'd stick with his struggling rookie for Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. It was the right call. It was the only call.
Let us not lose sight of what this season is about: It's about Smith, trying to find out if he's the guy you want to build your franchise around. So far, the answer is no, but there's a lot of football to be played. They've gone this far with him, so it wouldn't make much sense to bail out at this point.
It's a delicate decision because they have to weigh short term versus long term. A gray area developed over the first two months of the season, when the Jets surprised everyone by jumping into playoff contention. Suddenly, long term became an afterthought. After upsetting the New Orleans Saints to improve to 5-4, a go-for-it mentality developed, reinforced by the signing of aging safety Ed Reed. It was a win-now move.
Since then, the Jets haven't been winning now. They've been losing, two in a row. The temptation is to try Matt Simms, figuring he can't be any worse than Smith, but the organization doesn't see him as part of its future. And, yes, he can be worse. They might as well ride it out with Smith unless he reaches the point where he can't function at the position. For now, they're not going to make a panic move by succumbing to the whims of the fan base. The plan is to stay the course and find out about Smith. It might not be the popular choice, but it's the best choice.
Naturally, it sends mixed signals. The Jets want to win now while developing a young quarterback. In the real world, that's called having your cake and eating, too.
ICYMI: Ryan, perhaps trying to douse the flames of a quarterback controversy, named Smith the starter for Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, adding that he saw two areas of improvement in Baltimore. ... Ryan preached team unity during a team meeting. It means he's concerned about fracturing in the locker room. ... Troy Davis took a scary shot to the chest, getting blown up by Courtney Upshaw on punt coverage, but he was released from a Baltimore hospital after spending a night for observation. ... Our weekly playing-time breakdown.