City Sports Report

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills have A quarterback crisis

Geno Smith factors into the Jets quarterback battle, but where does he stand (photo courtesy of www.usatoday.com)

The Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets have had great offseasons so far. Both have added a lot of things that they needed. From the great trade of the Bills to get LeSean McCoy to the free-agent signing of Derrelle Revis, both teams were making moves to catch up to the reigning NFL champions, the New England Patriots. From the look of things, both teams have nice teams coming into the 2015 season on paper. But one ingredient is missing for both of them. What good is assembling talent if there is no leader in charge? The Bills and Jets, despite the good additions, do not have a steady quarterback position at all. And that crucial position could make or break any team. Both teams are going into the season with new head coaches and are wanting to stamp their identities on their new team. So with that being said, what would be the best option for them at quarterback?

The Buffalo Bills drafted quarterback EJ Manuel in the 2013 NFL draft with hopes that he would be their starter for a while there. Well, that has not exactly worked out and the Bills ended last season with veteran Kyle Orton as their starter as Manuel was benched pretty early on by the team. Heading into this season, it seems as if new head coach Rex Ryan has Manuel nowhere near his plans to be a starter. He traded for McCoy this offseason, but he traded for a veteran quarterback as well. The Bills traded for Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel this offseason, looking for him to potentially be the answer to their needs. He has been a starter in the past and when he got his shot a couple seasons ago in Minnesota, he was not that bad. But of course it would not be too hard to look better than Christian Ponder at the time, who was going through his own issues as well. Cassel showed enough to Buffalo and Rex Ryan to make them want to trade for him. But that was not the only move the Bills made at quarterback this offseason. The Bills also signed free-agent quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Baltimore Ravens. The career backup knew that he would have more of an opportunity if he left the Ravens than if he stayed there. Going into the offseason, it is expected that Cassel will win the job. But Cassel is not the most durable guy despite being a veteran in the NFL. And that is where Taylor becomes very valuable. Taylor can make some things happen with his feet and he can also bring another weapon to the Buffalo offense. In the end, he may end up being the better option. Remember, Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman is used to having mobile quarterbacks in San Francisco with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. And with Cassel, he is not the most mobile guy. Taylor, if he comes in sharp and focused, should win this competition and be the starting quarterback for the Bills as everything plays out. The Bills would be better for it and it would also fit the team better as well with weapons like LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Percy Harvin. That would be a lot of speed on the field would Taylor, McCoy and Harvin alone. That could be one dangerous offense, but the right quarterback has to be chosen. If not, the Bills could sputter on the offensive side of the ball.

The New York Jets solidified their defense by bringing back some former Jets. The additions of former Jets corners Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are giving some Jets fans flashbacks to the tough defenses that Rex fielded every single year. And with new head coach Todd Bowles, he needed two good corners to bring the pressure he would like to bring. And with the front seven he has, there should be no doubts how good this defense can be. But for the offense, they have always seemed to lag behind. For whatever reasons there may be, it just seems the Jets have not been able to get anything steady going on the offensive side of the ball and last year was no different. The Jets bounced back and forth between Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick all year long with not so good results. The team struggled and it cost former coach Rex Ryan his job. Ryan has his own issues at quarterback in Buffalo, as documented before, but there is still a mess at the quarterback position in Jetland. Geno Smith has been the starter for a while now. And his performances have been less than impressive most of the time. He would make one great play and come back with one that makes you wonder what he was thinking. The Jets added wide receiver Brandon Marshall through trade and pair him with wide receiver Eric Decker to form a good combination for a quarterback to throw to. But even with the added target, it is not for sure that Smith can get it done. So to add to the quarterback competition, the Jets traded for Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The veteran quarterback has been enigmatic and was so once again in Houston. Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey helped Fitzpatrick play his best and earn a big contract with the Bills in his career. But unfortunately Fitzpatrick was not able to live up to the hype of that deal and he faltered a lot ever since. The thing about Fitzpatrick is he has some really great moments. But like Geno, he has some really bad moments as well. Honestly, Fitzpatrick or Smith could potentially not be the answer at quarterback and they could potentially draft one. Either way, the Jets have some homework to do before they have their quarterback situation solved. And it may lead into the season or not even be solved during the season. Geno may get the nod to start the season in this one but he could easily lose it to Fitzpatrick as well. So to start the season, he should be the starter.

Both the Jets and the Bills are similar to sports cars. Both look good and are made for optimal performance and to look great doing so. But the instability at quarterback is making both cars putter because they lack an engine to run them. Both teams have some work to do there and some investigating to do. If they both can find out who best helps the team run, then the season will be a little easier for them. But if they both cannot get some steady play at the quarterback position, both teams may end up stuck in neutral. It should be interesting to see how both teams go about solving their quarterback issues.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

One Comment

  1. Dori Longino

    March 17, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    The Jets are planning to trade Bradford and some picks to the Jets in return for the #6 slot for Mariota. That’s my prediction for the Jets QB problem. Of course that may very well open a whole new set of problems for the Jets but that’s a story for another day!

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