Philadelphia Eagles’ running back LeSean McCoy pulled no punches in his opinion of who should be the New York Jets starting quarterback this year.
McCoy, a teammate of Michael Vick since 2009 in Philadelphia, told the New York Post that he believes the 11-year veteran will beat out second-year quarterback Geno Smith for the starting job in 2014.
“Vick is going to be the starting quarterback this year,” McCoy said at a Philadelphia charity event Monday. “He’s way better than Geno Smith. Way better. That’s no contest.”
While confident in the playing ability of the soon-to-be 34 year old this summer, McCoy does understand limitations still exist for Vick.
“[Vick's health is] the big question, and that’s the only thing,” McCoy told the Post. “The thing here was, he didn’t lose his job. He just got hurt and lost his job to injury. But as far as who’s the better quarterback, he’s way better than Geno Smith. That’s obvious.”
The NFL’s current rushing champion from a year ago is right about Vick being better than Smith, but also wrong at the same time.
McCoy makes sense based on the fact that Vick has more than a decade of experience playing NFL football, and doesn’t hurt that he spent four seasons in Philadelphia with current Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Vick wouldn’t need a period of time to understand the Jets’ play calling that another free agent quarterback would need during the off-season.
While the knowledge of the playbook and in-game experience are valuable assets for a playoff contender, injuries and turnovers have became a serious issue for the former first round pick. Vick missed 34 games and combined for 69 turnovers (33 interceptions, 36 fumbles) for the Eagles in the past five seasons.
As mentioned previously, Vick should be an addition for the Jets that help push Smith to being a better quarterback, instead of replacing him in just his sophomore season in the NFL. Vick also could be used as a situational weapon to help move the sticks on a long third down late in a close game.
Smith was showing improvement in the final month of the season last year with nearly 800 passing yards , seven total touchdowns and two interceptions. It would be a waste of momentum if Smith were replaced by Vick at this point, when the former West Virginia Mountaineer could be making strides in adapting to the speed of the game.
The combination of Vick and Smith could help the Jets improve on their second place finish in the AFC East last year and return to the NFL playoffs for the first time in three years.
It’s much better use of the two signal callers instead of another quarterback controversy in New York.