Michael Vick has officially been signed by the New York Jets and immediately the phrase “quarterback controversy” has been mentioned. Forget the off-the-field history that’s plagued Michael throughout his career. On the field, the 34-year-old Vick brings a wealth of experience, talent and stability to a position that has eluded the Rex Ryan and the New York Jets over recent years. And with second year man Geno Smith not being named the official starter by Ryan going into the offseason, the question now becomes, should the more experienced Vick be the quarterback under center when the new season begins this fall?
According to the NY Daily News, the plan for Vick is to serve as mentor for second year starter Geno Smith. And according to what Michael told reporters, as quoted in the article, he understands that that is his role…for now:
“I wouldn’t say that I would necessarily be OK sitting on the bench all year, but I know what I signed up for…I know what I came to New York to do. First and foremost, I came to compete and be a helping hand for Geno.”
But should that helping hand stretch into an immediate starting role with the Jets? Head coach Rex Ryan is under pressure to win now. His contract extension from last year is laced with incentives for reaching the playoffs, something the organization hasn’t done since 2010. And according to an article on ESPN.com, the likelihood that Michael Vick gets the chance to start at some point is fairly strong: “If Vick doesn’t win the job in training camp, he’ll probably get a chance at some point, either by injury or ineffectiveness.”
But the article also warns that if Vick is playing right out the gate, that too may not be the best scenario for the team thanks to questions surrounding Michael’s durability.
“If Vick becomes the Week 1 starter, let’s be honest, he probably won’t last the season, considering his durability issues. Chances are, the Jets will need both quarterbacks.”
So where does that leave the New York Jets second year man Geno Smith? Despite the Vick signing, the organization would prefer that Geno Smith win the job outright. Rex Ryan said as much when he went on ESPN radio earlier this week to support the former West Virginia quarterback. According to ESPN.com, Geno starting day one and Vick continuing to mentor Smith all season long would be ideal:
“In the Jets’ perfect scenario, Vick wouldn’t have to play. He’d be Smith’s eyes and ears, teaching him and pushing him to become a better quarterback. He’d be a $5 million Yoda. But as we all know, plans rarely works perfectly, especially for the Jets.”