Jets will start rookie QB Geno Smith against Bucs
The Geno Smith era has begun in New York, meaning the Bucs will face a rookie quarterback Sunday against the Jets.
Smith, 22, the second-round pick from West Virginia, earned the starting nod on Wednesday, partly due to the fact incumbent QB Mark Sanchez injured his shoulder during the preseason.
"We're excited about Geno getting his first start," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday in a conference call with the Tampa Bay media. "It's going to be a big day for him."
Smith, a very athletic quarterback, was able to take over games while in college, both with his feet and arm. But Smith had a shaky preseason, which included an ankle injury, and a three-interception game against the Giants a couple weeks ago.
Ryan said Smith's ankle has improved, and believes the rookie just needs to stay within himself.
"I think the guys are going to really around him," Ryan said. "But he just has to go out and lean on his teammates, he can't just think he's going to go out there and do something Hurculean. He's just got to play football and the thing I've really been impressed with is his preparation, and I think that's been outstanding. He looks like his ankle is getting better, he's able to drive the football better than he did obviously against the Giants. He should be healthy."