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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Jets rookie Geno Smith could debut vs. Bucs, Darrelle Revis

Geno Smith, a second-round draft pick out of West Virginia, looks to pass during the Jets' rookie minicamp earlier this month in Florham Park, N.J.

AP photo

Geno Smith, a second-round draft pick out of West Virginia, looks to pass during the Jets' rookie minicamp earlier this month in Florham Park, N.J.

The Bucs’ regular-season opener could be notable for more than just the return of Darrelle Revis to the Meadowlands.

The week’s overarching theme, with former Jet Revis set to take on his old mates on Sept. 8, might also be combined with another interesting subplot: The debut of Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

The reported decision by Jets veteran quarterback David Garrard to retire on Wednesday has left the Jets without many good options, especially with the team seemingly bent on replacing incumbent starter Mark Sanchez.

Garrard was, perhaps, the best option for the short term. He was atop the Dolphins’ depth chart in the 2012 preseason when he suffered the knee injury that now is forcing him to step away from the game entirely. He reportedly said the knee is not responding well to workouts and won’t allow him to continue playing.

With Garrard out of the picture, the Jets are much more likely to turn to second-round draft pick Smith, the former West Virginia star. Sanchez committed 26 turnovers last season and it’s widely believed he would have been cut if not for the substantial financial guarantees in his contract.

If Smith does indeed get the nod, the Bucs, on paper, would have a favorable matchup, pitting a rookie passer against a revamped secondary that now includes Revis and star safety Dashon Goldson.

The Jets also have two other quarterbacks on their roster – Greg McElroy and Matt Simms – but neither is considered a strong contender for the No. 1 job.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:46pm]

    

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