New York Jets: Expectations for Quarterback Michael Vick


Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills strong safety

Duke Williams

(27) tackles New York Jets quarterback

Michael Vick

(1) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Bills won 43-23. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Vick takes over for Geno Smith as the starting quarterback for the Jets, at least for the time being. After three consecutive drives with interceptions by Geno Smith, coach Rex Ryan had enough, and made the change. He announced that Vick is the starter for this week, but didn’t commit to a long-term switch. So in fact, Michael Vick must play well to remain the starter for the rest of 2014.

Can Vick turn the Jets season around? I don’t know. The season may be too far gone for that. But Michael Vick can re-establish himself as an NFL starting quarterback, enough that other teams might take notice. He also can show the ability to lead the Jets to some victories. Here are some elements that we need to see from Vick.

USE HIS LEGS BUT PROTECT THE FOOTBALL: Vick did some excellent work with his legs the other day against the Bills. We know how “well” the Jets receivers get separation from defenders, so there was many a play where they weren’t open. Michael Vick got out of the pocket, and used his legs to make something out of nothing to the tune of leading the Jets in rushing.

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But, he must care for the football when he does so. See in the picture, how he is holding the football with his inside arm? Doing that leaves you vulnerable to fumbling, as Vick did on this play. I know the left arm is obviously his dominant arm, but he has to feel the hit and be ready to protect the ball with both hands. He can not be reckless with the football.

SHARP READS: Vick was clearly rusty last week, and that is not just because he only went 18-36 through the air. It had to do with the quality of reading his progressions. Look at the picture above for example. Jace Amaro runs a medium crossing route, and is wide open. Michael Vick misses him, instead looking for the route in the flat.

To make the offense work, each receiver must be checked in the order of the progression, from deep to shallow. Rich Gannon pointed this out more than once during last week’s broadcast. This should come as the rust wears away, and Michael Vick gets more and more reps. But in order for Vick to be successful, we are going to need to see his reads get sharper.

Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

FINISH DRIVES: This is an obvious one, but one of the biggest problems for the Jets all season long. They can move the ball between the twenties, but they stink in the red zone, ranking near the bottom of the sport. If the Jets can score some touchdowns in the red zone behind Michael Vick, the Jets could be noticed again, as could Michael Vick.