As the New York Jets prepare to enter training camp, the question is coming up once again about whether or not Geno Smith is really "the guy" for the franchise. Smith has not exactly developed into a star yet as he enters his third season in the league and the Jets had every opportunity to replace him as they were linked to deals for Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Sam Bradford. However, they gave Smith the silent vote of confidence by steering away from marquee quarterback moves as head coach Todd Bowles hopes it pays off.
Smith is aware he is entering a critical season in his career as the quarterback must improve to remain on the roster. The Jets brought in both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty to put pressure on Smith while adding players like Brandon Marshall and Stevan Ridley to make sure he has no excuses this time around. Bowles remains positive when talking about Smith, but there is a sense of concern regarding his chance at progression.
"The mental progression, the command of the game," Bowles said, via ESPN.com. "Obviously, all quarterbacks have to have command of the game. You don't want to see turnovers and you have to make sure you have command of the offense. It's all encompassing. There's a big mental part of it as a quarterback that you have to control because you're the coach on the field."
Should Smith struggle, the Jets have Fitzpatrick as their short-term option and Petty to develop for the upcoming years. According to the New York Daily News, if Smith has a repeat of last year, the Jets will immediately get linked to deals for Sam Bradford, Philip Rivers and Nick Foles to replace the young quarterback.
There are several bubble players for the Jets this season. After holding out for a new contract, Mohammad Wilkerson is expected to return for training camp while battling alongside rookie Leonard Williams. Wilkerson must prove that he is worth the money this season as he fights for a new contract. Bowles is confident that he reports to camp on time in order to make that happen.
Dee Milliner is also fighting for a roster spot. According to the New York Post, the additions of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie have put the cornerback in a tough position. He is currently making his way back from a torn Achilles tendon and is not expected to be a full strength just yet which could ultimately hurt his future.