A season with a clipboard in his hand, watching the things Sanchez or David Garrard do right and wrong, would be far more appropriate for Smith at this juncture in his career.
What was learned about Smith this past weekend is that he has all the tools in place to be a good NFL quarterback at some point. What hasn’t been learned is if he can be a star right now. Jets fans are ready to anoint him, to move beyond the Sanchez era. Caution would be the wiser virtue at this stage.
Many of us have seen enough of Mark Sanchez and that is not the course I'm advocating, but I do think that Dyer has a point in being cautious with their young quarterback.
On the other hand, if they wait a full season -- until 2014 -- to start Smith and the Jets have a bumpy 2013 season, then the team could go into the 2014 NFL Draft without having tested Smith. That seems unnecessary considering names like Bridgewater, Manziel, Boyd and McCarron will likely be among the bumper crop next year. It would be smart to get a sense of how Smith fares under pressure sooner rather than passing on that level of talent solely because they never let their rookie see action.
The Jets should go a middle road.
Smith should be afforded every opportunity to earn the job in camp, but so should all the other quarterbacks and it should be decided for Week 1 based solely on merit.
So should Smith not win it outright, the rookie should be afforded the chance to play before the season ends; most likely Smith should play after that brutal October stretch. That way, the front office can know what they have and can compare an in-game Smith against a seemingly ultra-talented class of quarterbacks in 2014. Passing on the potential to draft a player like Teddy Bridgewater because they never tested Geno Smith seems just as unwise.