It has been a tough week for the Jets organization and fans everywhere. Offseason acquisitions David Garrard and Mike Goodson, who were expected to play a big role for the Jets this year, both have given the Jets immense grief recently. David Garrard, who was expected to serve as a mentor to Geno Smith and maybe even start for a while until Geno became fully ready for the NFL, retired suddenly due to a knee injury. On the other hand Goodson, who was expected to be a major contributor to the Jets new look run-game, has been arrested with charges of unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a loaded handgun, possession of hollow-point ammunition, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. These are very serious concerns that will definitely affect his future on the team.
First, David Garrard’s retirement provides the Jets with a number of very serious concerns. Garrard’s exit puts a damper on any hopes that the Jets would release Mark Sanchez, and now Sanchez will likely be the starter for the Jets when their season opener against Tampa Bay rolls around. Geno Smith could always start, but questions about his preparedness for the NFL and accuracy make even the biggest Geno fans skeptical of his success. Idzik was hoping that Garrard could start this season for many reasons.
- If Garrard earned the starting job, it would mean that the Jets would be able to finally end the Sanchez saga and release him despite the cap hit. But now, releasing him seems improbable because it is almost inevitable that he will start for at least the beginning of the season.
- Geno Smith is by no means ready to lead a team. Although he has potential, he still needs to develop some decision-making and accuracy skills, and a year to learn under David Garrard would have been extremely beneficial.
- The Jets believe that Geno Smith can be the quarterback of the future, but first he needs to be put in a situation in which he can succeed. Right now, the Jets lack a quality receiving core and offensive line that is crucial to quarterback’s success. This offseason they addressed the running game by trading for Chris Ivory and signing Mike Goodson (who will be discussed later). In a year the Jets may be able to surround Geno with the necessary weapons to succeed so they are reluctant to start him this year where victory will be tough to find.
- If Garrard was made starter and Sanchez and McElroy released, the quarterback drama would finally be over. They would be able to ease Geno Smith into the starting role similar to how the Vikings started McNabb for a tad while Christian Ponder could develop. And it would be a definitive quarterback solution, one that doesn’t include the drama attributed to Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez.
However, all these plans were ruined due to Garrard’s retirement, and it will be interesting to see how the Jet recover.
As for Mike Goodson, the Jets got exactly what they have been trying to avoid: drama. The Jets were hoping that these unheralded running backs they acquired could develop into a deadly duo, but now no one even knows if Goodson will be on the team. Because of his arrest, he will be facing legal problems for quite some time and will likely miss OTAs and training camp if he is to remain on the team. For example, today, instead of participating or even watching the team’s workouts he merely had a conversation with Jets officials. Woody Johnson had only a little to say on the topic. “We’re at a point of investigating the facts,” [General manager] John Idzik met with him this morning, he’ll meet with the coaches today. We’ll try to get the story on what the facts are and go from there.” Johnson said to reporters, according to USA Today Sports. We’ll see if this turns out to have a major effect on the run game, and if he is released from the team it will be a huge loss. The Jets running back duo will turn into Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, and Goodson is not only a better tailback than Bilal but he also is a speed back which will vary from the truck that Chris Ivory is. This would have been great so that defenses would have to change their gameplan every time a different running back came in. The Jets could always try Joe McKnight, but he is no Goodson.
It is quite a shame to see some of Idzik’s hard work falling apart before the season even started, and we can only hope that he manages to recover from these disasters.