Aug 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) talks with quarterbackMichael Vick
(1) against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The backup quarterback, since the beginning of NFL times, has been the most popular player on a team that is underachieving. The resounding belief is that the change would “create a spark” that will propel the team to wins going forward. The theory is the team needs to be shaken up, and with the quarterback being the leader of the offense, it’s the most stark change to make.
Geno Smith has had his struggles of late. I am not going to be that type of “homer” to insinuate that Geno Smith has not been part of the problem. Geno has very much been part of the problem. But some fans out there believe he is the BIGGEST problem, and were calling for Michael Vick at the game. Some were so rough that Geno Smith couldn’t control retaliating against a fan. Clearly the fans are tired of losing, and want to make a change now.
This afternoon, I am here to tell you that Rex Ryan is absolutely right. Despite what some say in the media, Geno Smith should remain the starter for this football team. Michael Vick is not the answer, and should not become the starter unless Geno were to fall to an injury.
On the ensuing pages I will explain why, so let’s get started.
Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) before the game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
AGE: First of all, let’s not forget that this is not the 24 year old Michael Vick. This is the 34 year old Michael Vick. Yes, he can still wing it, and can still move around a bit. But is he that magical, video game like creature we saw in his younger days? No! On the plays he has run so far, he has looked lost. He has come in for a few plays, and sparked nothing.
This guy is the guy that is going to save this football team? Seriously, folks?
Aug 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterbackNick Foles
(9) meet on field after game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jets, 37-7. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
RUST: Let’s not forget, gang, that it is not if Michael Vick came over to the Jets as a current starting quarterback. In fact, Michael Vick has not been under center as the starting quarterback in over a year. Think about that for a minute. Some of you want to turn the fate of the season over to a guy that hasn’t started in over a year. Does that make sense?
Furthermore, not only was Vick simply not starting, he was BENCHED. BENCHED! Granted, he was bench in favor of an out of the world season by Nick Foles, but Foles hasn’t been setting the world on fire in 2014. Michael Vick couldn’t keep his starting job, but we want him to save our season? I don’t.
Sep 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running backLeSean McCoy
(25) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
WEAPONS: Let’s go back to Michael Vick’s last big season, 2010. In that season, he threw for 21 touchdowns versus only six interceptions. That team had at Vick’s disposal, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, and Brent Celek. That doesn’t even mention LeSean McCoy out of the backfield.
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Newsflash folks, if Michael Vick enters the game, he enters it with the SAME WEAPONS GENO SMITH HAS! Michael Vick is an experienced quarterback, but he can’t turn blood into wine. He is not going to magically turn the Jets offense into the Eagles’ offense from 2010. It will be more of the same guys that, aside from Decker and Kerley, can’t get separation, and are generally not great to begin with.
Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts after being sacked against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
NOT ALL ON GENO: Michael Vick is not the answer because, simply put, Geno Smith is far from the only problem. For an offensive play to work, it takes 12 guys to get it done. All 11 players on the offense, and one guy on defense screwing up. If everyone doesn’t execute, the play is not going to work, no matter who is playing at quarterback.
Geno Smith cannot fix dropped passes. Neither can Michael Vick. Geno Smith can not fix when the protection breaks down. Neither can Michael Vick. Seeing a pattern?
Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts on the field against the Detroit Lions during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Lions won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
FAIR ASSESSMENT OF GENO SMITH: Yes, Geno Smith has had his problems of late. But, judging on what I have seen, there is no doubt that Geno Smith is going to succeed. Who was the quarterback that completed 80% of his passes during week one? That’s right, Geno Smith. The Geno Smith that many of you want to bench.
Who led the team to two touchdowns early against the Packers, one by air and one on the ground? Geno Smith. Who led them on a drive that included a big third down conversion to set up the tying field goal? Geno Smith. Who led the Jets on two scoring drives in the second half on Monday night, keeping the Jets in it at 24-19? Geno Smith. Not Michael Vick.
In the second half against the Lions, who led the Jets on an 11 play scoring drive, that included three 3rd down conversions, and closed the gap to 17-10, before the defense failed him? That’s right, Geno Smith. Everyone focuses on the negative, and nobody focuses on the positive. And the facts remain that Geno Smith has been inconsistent, but not as terrible as everyone seems to think.
Lay off Geno Smith, guys. Has he been perfect? Of course not. But changing to Michael Vick is not the answer. Notice that not once did I say that benching Smith will hurt his development. Not the reason.
But Michael Vick will not be the right choice, barring an injury to Smith. Even if he sparks the team in the short term, but will not make ANY difference long term.