Geno Smith: 'Change could be good'

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

As the New York Jets prepare for what figures to be a tumultuous offseason, several players have publicly supported Rex Ryan, saying they don't want to see the coach fired.

On Monday, quarterback Geno Smith said change could be a good thing.

Smith, who went through a coaching change at West Virginia, said "it's all about what you make of it. I think the toughest part about it is not being able to continue to play for the same coach, the same guy that you learned to love, you invest so much in, and you believe (in) them.

"To reset and re-adjust is a tough thing to do, but we're professionals and we have to do it," Smith continued. "A change could be good for us all, so if it happens -- when it happens -- then we'll see."

On Sunday, the Jets (3-12) will close out what could be their worst year since 1996. For most of the season, speculation has been swirling about the future of Ryan and general manager John Idzik.

Ryan has missed the playoffs four straight years, so it would not be unexpected if he were to be fired. Nevertheless, many of his players are pulling for him.

Tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, one of the two longest-tenured players on the team, took the opposite view of Smith, endorsing the status quo.

"We definitely love Rex and we'd love to have him another year," Ferguson said. "That feeling is throughout the whole locker room.

"At this point, everyone wants to find the perfect answer, but I don't know if there's a perfect answer," he continued. "But if we were just to clear everything out, I think that has its own issues with it. Who knows what that would bring? You have to make sure you analyze it all, the pros and cons of every decision."

In Smith's case, he benefitted from the change in college, thriving in Dana Holgorsen's pass-oriented offense. That experience probably is the basis for his opinion.

Ferguson, who was drafted by the Jets in 2006, has undergone only one coaching change - in 2009, when Ryan replaced Eric Mangini. The Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game that year.

"I don't think we're very far away," Ferguson said. "If we preserve what we have and just strategically make some switches here and there, we'd be far better off than trying to clear everything and start fresh."

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