Words I never thought I’d say: I believe in Michael Vick. I really do. And here’s why.
Vick still gets flack for that infamous dog-fighting charge and sentencing. But, he shouldn’t because he paid his debt to society. That incident was seven years ago, he served his time, he paid his fines, and he’s a changed man.
Now, let’s focus on the present. Sure he’s 34 years-old and coming off of a hamstring injury, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good player anymore. Personally, I’m glad he’s on the team. I think he has potential to be a great leader and he could teach Geno Smith a few things about being a mobile quarterback.
Ever since the New York Jets signed Vick, the talk has been who will start: Smith or Vick? Even Rex Ryan said it would be an open competition for the starting quarterback position.
But in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Stu Woo, Vick straight up said he doesn’t see it like that.
“I’m not competing for a starting quarterback job,” Vick stated.
He said that no one told him that it was a competition and that he doesn’t want to make a big deal of it.
“I don’t want to become a distraction right now, and training camp is important,” Vick said. “It’s a different mind-set that you take on when it’s an open competition. What we need to do is focus on going out and winning games, regardless of who’s at the quarterback position, and if there’s a lot of hoopla surrounding that, then this team can’t focus on winning games because everybody feeds into it.”
I like that Vick is practically going out of his way to avoid creating drama. He answers most all of the press questions about the “quarterback competition” with grace.
He took a big pay cut when he signed with the Jets, so I think he knew going in that he wouldn’t necessarily be starting. I respect that he hasn’t let this quarterback situation turn into the Sanchez-Tebow controversy. He wants everyone to focus on the team as a whole and not just one position.
Vick has all but said that Smith has the job and that his role is to mentor Smith and be prepared to takeover, if need be.
“I want him to excel,” Vick said of Smith to the New York Times’ William C. Rhoden. “I want him to go out and enjoy every minute of this. And I let him know before I say anything, ‘Geno, it’s hard; it ain’t easy.’”
Vick has made it clear that he’s not looking to be in the spotlight, but rather a supporting role. And so far he’s made good on his word.
Vick said he’s proud to be a Jet, and you know what? I’m proud that he’s a Jet too.