Third-string QB is Simms’ job to lose

By Max Marcilla

When Michael Vick was signed by the Jets back in March, questions arose regarding which quarterback would start for the Jets: Vick, or second-year pro Geno Smith. Fast forward five months and that question has a clear answer: Smith. After that controversy was settled, the next competition that didn’t take as many headlines was for the third string quarterback spot between Matt Simms and rookie Tajh Boyd.

It turns out that the third string battle was not a battle at all, and there is already a clear winner.

Matt Simms (5) and Tajh Boyd (3) practicing together.

Right from the get-go in camp, Boyd struggled. One year after throwing 34 touchdowns and rushing for 10 more in his senior year at Clemson, the Virginia native slipped into the sixth round of the draft, where the Jets snagged him up.

Before the preseason even began, Boyd dug himself in a deep hole by throwing interception after interception in camp. Matt Simms wasn’t great, but on the other hand, he certainly wasn’t worse than Boyd.

Come Week 1 of the preseason, the battle was close. Simms had every opportunity to knock Boyd out of a job, but he couldn’t. Boyd did not play in the preseason opener. Simms did, and had a fine evening. He didn’t score a touchdown, but he didn’t turn the ball over either. He finished 13-of-18 with 96 yards.

Boyd’s chance to play in game action was last week against the Bengals. This is where he showed why he should not make the roster. He finished 1-of-5 with 6 yards and looked completely inept behind center.

Of his five pass attempts, one was thrown into double coverage, two were thrown too high, one was thrown too low, and only one pass was on target. It was a six yard strike to Michael Campbell.

Not only has Boyd struggled throwing the ball, but he’s had trouble learning the Jets playbook in camp. Simms has already been under Marty Mornhinweg’s system for an entire season and is familiar with the Jets offense.

Rex Ryan had high expectations for Boyd, who has failed to meet them, since Boyd is a good friend of Ryan’s son Seth, a wide receiver at Clemson.

“We probably had more insight into his character with my son being there,” Ryan told reporters following the draft in May. “My son talked about his leadership. He said he was the leader of that program as far as a player is concerned. He said that if Tajh called a meeting at 2 a.m., the entire football team would’ve been there. That speaks about the type of person he is. We’re excited to bring Tajh here and let him compete.”

Boyd is a perfect player for a practice squad, but when it comes to which player will make the team as the third-string quarterback, Simms is the man.

About Max Marcilla

Max is a sophomore broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. He is the news director for WMUC Sports, a reporter for The Left Bench TV and the co-owner of New York Jet Fuel, a site dedicated to covering the New York Jets. You can contact Max at and follow him on Twitter @MMarcilla98.

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