Shutdown Corner

New York Jets announce that Geno Smith will be their starter Week 1

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

There might be a question of who is running the ship, but there's no longer speculation over who will be taking snaps from center for now.

The New York Jets announced Wednesday that second-round pick Geno Smith will start the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meaning that ex-Jet Darrelle Revis officially can start licking his lips.

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Smith became the only clear option — even though the Jets tried their best to hide that fact — as Mark Sanchez's throwing shoulder has healed slowly. Sanchez was better in preseason action than Smith, who struggled after suffering an ankle injury a few weeks ago, but the shoulder injury and Smith's return to health made the announcement a no-brainer.

That doesn't mean it's going to work. "Shutdown Corner" writer Anwar Richardson already has inked the Smith-Sanchez-Rex Ryan imbroglio as one of his top 10 brewing controversies for this season. And what happens if Smith struggles out of the gate — do they ever go back to Sanchez? That's a bad idea, per former Jet LaDainian Tomlinson.

It's possible Sanchez's days with the Jets are, in effect, done. He's really only on the roster now because the team would take a significant financial hit if he was cut. The other options? Matt Simms, who barely played college football, or the recently signed Brady Quinn. Hooray.

Let's give the Jets the benefit of the doubt for a moment. Maybe Smith is the next in a growing line of rookie quarterbacks who stun opponents and observers with his poise and performance. Maybe he's the long-term answer the team has sought at the position since, well, forever.

[Watch: Must start quarterbacks for Week 1]

But the Jets also are bracing for the fact that he might not be, and that result likely won't be pretty. And had Smith blown them away in the preseason, this announcement never would have been delayed — and hemmed and hawed — as it has to this point.

What's that old saying about car crashes and not being able to look away?

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