The New York Jets made a serious upgrade Friday to the team’s backup quarterback position by adding former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
In a post earlier here on WVUPros.com, I spoke on the positives of Vick being added to the team when it was still in the rumor stage before NFL free agency.
With the addition of the 11-year veteran signal caller to the team, the Jets also released four-year starter Mark Sanchez. The fifth overall pick from the 2009 NFL Draft led New York to the AFC Championship Game in 2009 and 2010, but didn’t do much following those seasons in the Big Apple.
In an interview with Jets.com on Thursday, Rex Ryan made it abundantly clear on how he feels about Geno Smith as starting quarterback prior to the Vick signing Friday.
“This young man’s going to be hard to beat out,” Ryan said. “I don’t care who comes in here. We want competition in here. We want competition at every – I think its great – but make no mistake, Geno Smith gonna be hard to beat out.”
Ryan also added on how he felt Smith kept improving toward the end of the 2013 season.
“The last four weeks of the season, when most rookies are (on the decline), he’s (on the rise). And we all saw it coming.”
In those final four weeks for New York (3-1), Smith completed nearly 60 percents of his passes for 790 yards and four touchdowns to go along with just two interceptions.
The momentum gained in that stretch of games to end the 2013 season could continue in the beginning of the 2014 season as the Jets added former Denver wide receiver Erik Decker to a five-year deal earlier this month.
Decker collected more than 1200 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns for the Broncos, which is more than double any receiving totals from returning New York receivers that will make up this season.
The Jets have added solid offensive pieces with Vick and Decker, but still have the 18th pick in this year’s NFL Draft to add another top wide receiver to continue to improve the roster this offseason.
Ryan could finally have the mix of talent he needs to get back to a double-digit win season for the first time since going 11-5 in 2010.
Smith might just be the catalyst for Ryan to push the Jets from a middle of the pack team in the NFL back to a playoff caliber team.
“He grew by leaps and bounds. That’s what I was so excited about. And the competition — whoever we bring in — that is going to be outstanding. But make no mistake, Geno Smith, he’s gonna be hard to beat out, I’m just telling you.”
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