When Michael Vick signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets on March 21st, head coach Rex Ryan proclaimed an open quarterback competition. Vick doesn’t exactly see it that way. Geno Smith started all 16 games for the Jets in an uneven season on their way to an 8-8 record.
The Jets spent a Second Round pick on Smith in the 2013 NFL Draft, and he is presumed to be the quarterback of the future for the Jets. The team is under constant pressure from the “win now” culture of the New York media and fans who oftentimes loathe hearing the word “build.” The signing of Vick (along with other free-agent signings and their draft) shows their goal is to win immediately.
When healthy, Vick much more experienced and should be better in the offense the Jets run under OC Marty Mornhinweg at this point. Smith is still adapting to playing under center where the footwork is much more intricate and can change from play to play along with the timing. Vick has played under Mornhinweg from 2009 to 2012–earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2010–and should be able to step right in with a low learning curve.
NFL.com released their projected starters for every team headed into 2014. They list Vick as the Jets starter. Joe Namath recently voiced his opinion of Vick being the better option at present. While Ryan voices an open competition, Vick himself doesn’t.
“I think Geno is going to be the starter,” Vick said. “I think he’s going to start this season off. I think Geno has every opportunity to go out and have success. He’s going to get that opportunity.”
Vick has met with the team and coaches, and practiced this week as the team prepares for Organized Team Activities next week. He may already know that Smith will receive the bulk of the work, which is what a starting quarterback should expect. But Vick saying that he thinks Smith will start doesn’t mean the Virginia Tech product couldn’t receive the starting nod come Week 1. If he comes in and out-plays and out-practices Smith during camp and the preseason, Vick should win the job.
But if they perform evenly?
“Yeah, I would assume that Geno would be the starter (in that case),” Vick said.
Jets OTA’s begin May 27th and continue on the 28th.