NEW YORK (WFAN) — CBS analyst and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon said the Jets were right to make a change at quarterback now.
Jets coach Todd Bowles announced Wednesday he is replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick with Geno Smith under center.
“At some point, you can’t overlook the mistakes and the turnovers,” Gannon told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday.
Gannon noted that the Jets are minus-11 in turnover ratio — last in the NFL.
“Quarterback’s holding them back,” the former Raiders All-Pro QB said. “There’s no question about it. They need to make a change. You hope that a guy like Geno Smith can come in and learn from his mistakes, which have been an issue in the past.”
Gannon broke down Smith’s pros and cons.
“He’s got a strong arm,” he said. “He’s got a compact delivery. I think it’s fluid and sudden. I think he throws the deep ball well. The accuracy — I’d have a question mark there right now. I think in the beginning … the game was moving way too fast for him. Remember, this is a guy who started 16 games as a rookie.
“The problem that he has (is) he’s got 53 turnovers in 32 games, and that’s what did him in.”
Gannon said offensive coordinator Chan Gailey should lean heavily on his running game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
“If it were me and I were calling plays, I’d take the ball out of the hands of the quarterback,” Gannon said. “I don’t care if it’s Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, one of these younger guys — it doesn’t matter. I’ve got two backs that I’ve got to be able to hand the ball to a little bit more, and I’d make sure Matt Forte and Bilal Powell would be busy in this one.”
To listen to the full interview, in which Gannon also discusses the success of first-year quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers struggles and more, click on the audio player above.