Although the Jets haven’t officially named Smith their starter to open the regular season, Vick makes it clear that’s where things are heading. It’s something he’s done all offseason, even as some members of the Jets staff and brass have insisted that there’s a more spirited competition than anyone has actually seen unfold. Vick’s said all the right things about Smith and his own backup role, so it would seem that all’s well with the team’s plan to have the veteran ready and waiting if Smith can’t handle the job.
That may not be the case, though. Jenny Vrentas of MMQB.com reports that some Jets coaches “have privately expressed disappointment that Vick didn’t show up more hell-bent on winning the starting job.” One would have to guess that those coaches weren’t the same ones involved with making decisions about the quarterbacks since that has always felt more like it was Smith’s job to lose than Vick’s to win.
“The last five years I spent in Philly, I had some great years and played in some great games and went through a lot. Now it’s an opportunity for me to refresh myself and take a step back away from the game. I’m kind of relishing the moment that I’m in right now,” Vick said. “I am not required to have to do a lot. Preserving my body right now is very important to me, and making sure I can make a strong push late in my career in case I am needed.”
There’s some resignation in his words, but would it really be better for the Jets if Vick was causing problems about not being the starter? He’s said multiple times that he still wants to start and his willingness to accept being Smith’s backup likely had something to do with the likelihood that he’ll be called on at some point this season and the way the Jets presented the situation to him. If there’s a problem with that answer, someone with the Jets should have asked different questions earlier in the process.