The last time Geno Smith played in South Florida, he was a conquering hero (at least for fans of the Jets).
The next time Smith plays at Sun Life Stadium, it could possibly be his last start for those very same Jets.
Smith, who grew up just miles from the Dolphins’ home field, might be playing for his job Sunday when the Jets and Dolphins conclude their 2014 seasons.
He’s most certainly playing for his next coach, and possibly his next general manager. The Jets are expected to fire Rex Ryan in the coming days, and John Idzik, the beleaguered GM, could be swept out, too.
If so, none of the people who decided to draft Smith 39th overall in 2013 will be there to protect him in 2015. And based on his body of work, he probably needs that protection.
“I can’t really focus on that,” Smith told the Miami Herald this week. “We’re all in the same boat here. One thing that we know is that we’ve got one opportunity to go out there and play together. So, that’s what we’re focused on this week, going out there and playing well and not really looking forward too far because those things will handle themselves and the only thing you can do is control what’s in front of us, which is our game this Sunday.”
When asked if he has shown enough this year to be the Jets’ starter in 2015, Smith responded:
“I believe in myself. I’m confident that I can be and I will be. Like I said, it comes down to the coaches. I’m not going to look too far ahead.”
Smith, who starred at Miramar High, has now started 28 games as a pro. He has completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 5,213 yards with 22 touchdown passes to 34 interceptions. Smith has a ghastly career passer rating of 68.4, and the Jets have gone 10-18 in games he has started.
But one of those 10 wins came in last year’s season finale, when the Jets ruined the Dolphins’ season with a 20-7 upset. Smith completed 17 of 27 passes for 190 yards that day, helping extinguish the Dolphins’ playoff hopes.
Several injured Dolphins practiced Wednesday after missing Sunday’s game due to injury: OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas and LB Chris McCain.
If Dallas Thomas is healthy enough to play, Joe Philbin will have to make a decision: go back to Thomas, who has allowed seven sacks this year, or stick with Jason Fox, who didn’t surrendered a sack or a quarterback hit in 85 snaps against the Vikings.
“We are going to have to see how the rest of the practice week goes,” Philbin said. “We certainly haven’t made any decision as to what we are going to do at that position yet.”
Defensive lineman Derrick Shelby (ankle) warmed up with the team but did not practice.