The Jets are 2-0, and a big reason is they have an offensive combination that they did not have last season, Ryan Fitzpatrick to Brandon Marshall.
Fitzpatrick has taken over the Jets starting quarterback role from Geno Smith, and proven to be just what they need at that position.
The key to that success has been the chemistry with the Jets’ star receiver, Brandon Marshall. In addition to bringing back Derrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, getting Marshall was a big move.
Fitzpatrick found Marshall for a 15-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard drive with 6:29 remaining in the fourth quarter and that made it 17-7 Jets at the time.
Marshall said of having any verbal communication with Fitzpatrick during this touchdown play, “Yee-yee. Yee-yee. YEE-YEE! (laughter) OchoCinco is like famous for that. It’s crunch time, we’ve been stalling, we need to make a play, I don’t care what coverage it is, just throw it up. So, it’s fun in those moments, it’s good, but at the same time you have to understand when to do it because he has things that he has to go through and there’s 10 other guys on the field. Sometimes as receivers we don’t understand the full picture and I’ve noticed when you’re a receiver who really wants the ball the quarterbacks can feel that and understand that and sometimes you can get them out of rhythm, so understanding when to do that stuff is important because you want to stay within the flow of the offense.”
On what yee-yee would look like in print, Marshall said, “Yee-yee, I know it would start with a ‘y’, ‘e’, ‘e’. Yee-yee, yeah we’ll go with that, get some shirts made yee-yee (joking).”
On if he does that in the huddle or when he’s lined up, Marshall said, “Both, leaving the huddle. Well, it’s in the huddle so, if you’re Ryan, then it’s like, “Hey, come to me, come to me.” Then you get out there and it’s like, ‘Yee-Yee!’ (laughter). No, it was one of those things where they weren’t giving us one-on-one (but) for some reason that drive they gave us a bunch of one-on-one and you have to capitalize when they do.”
Marshall said of Fitzpatrick knowing that he wanted the ball by the look in his eye and if that’s a conscious thing he does, “That look (is) in my eye every single play, but in that moment it was a look in my eye and a, ‘Yee-yee, come to me, come to me!’”
While Marshall is a showman in many ways, the Jets didn’t need flash at the quarterback position. They needed a game manager, a guy that won’t take many chances, but would pragmatically guide his team through games.
Their pragmatic coach, Todd Bowles, sees this as well, which is why on Tuesday he declared that Fitzpatrick will be the Jets starter for a while, even when Smith comes back.
Bowles said of Fitzpatrick remaining the starting quarterback after Geno Smith is healthy, “Ryan is our starting quarterback right now. We’re doing well, we have good chemistry going and everything else and Geno understands that and as we go, Ryan is our quarterback. We’ll go forward from there.”
To the question of if Smith were ready to play this week, would Fitzpatrick still the starting quarterback, Bowles said, “Yes, Ryan’s the starter.”
Bowles said of what Fitzpatrick did Monday night in Indianapolis, “I thought he did a good job managing the ball game. Obviously, he threw a pick in the red zone, down there, and that’s something we don’t want, but he did a good job. He had command of the offense, understood what they were trying to do to him and we stuck to the run and didn’t air out all over the place which kept their offense off the field as well. I thought he did a good job.”
Geno Smith went through a full practice on Wednesday, his first since coming back into practice.
Bowles said of if he expects Smith to be active Sunday, “It’s possible. It’s between him and Bryce (Petty). We’ll see how much he learns this week. One of them will be the number two quarterback. He could be.”
On if Smith or Petty received most of the second team reps on Wednesday, Bowles said, “When you have cards during the week, you don’t have much second team reps. But, he got a few reps in there.”
Bowles said of Smith being ahead of schedule, “I think it is. I think he healed right. They cleared him, so I guess he’s a little bit ahead of schedule.”