New York Jets: Why Michael Vick Didn’t Start from Day One
With Michael Vick now firmly secured as the Jets starting quarterback due to Geno Smith‘s poor play the question is being brought up of why Vick wasn’t the starter from day one. The simple answer is that the Jets needed to evaluate what they had in Smith. The organization needed to figure out whether or not Smith could be the quarterback of this team moving forward, whether or not his upward trend would continue. It seems now that the answer to both questions is a resounding no, but now the team can look towards the future, with a stopgap in place (Vick), and a potentially high draft pick.
Michael Vick was never going to be the long-term solution at QB here. When the Jets brass brought him in they were likely looking for him to help Geno develop and to teach him what he can about being a quarterback in this league on and off the field. Vick has been injury prone since his return to the NFL and at the age of 34 as a mobile quarterback his retirement is coming sooner rather than later. It’s likely for these reasons the Jets only signed him for a year.
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Furthermore this Jets team is not ready to compete in the playoffs. Sure the Jets could have had a good chance to make it to the playoffs with solid quarterback play but the team’s deficiencies have been well documented since the beginning of the season. These deficiencies, on the offensive line and in the secondary, would have been too great to overcome down the stretch. This year might have been Geno’s final audition, and he blew it, giving way to Michael Vick taking the starting job.
For these reasons this was Geno’s team at the beginning of the season. It was a test. Now as a result of Geno failing that test the Jets could be in a position pick up a top quarterback in next year’s draft class and maybe see if they should keep Vick around to mentor the young QB. In my opinion the Jets should sign Vick for another year while drafting a quarterback early in the first. If it ends up being Marcus Mariota that the Jets draft it would make even more sense to keep Vick around as they are both mobile quarterbacks.