Since not long after he joined the Jets in March, quarterback Mike Vick has conceded the Week One starting job to Geno Smith. Now, Vick has challenged Smith to keep it.
“There wasn’t patience with me,” Vick said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “There wasn’t patience with Brett Favre. I’ve seen Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco go in there as rookies. Ben Roethlisberger. They had to get it done and they got it done. There’s really no patience, just being honest. . . . We got to win and we got to win now.”
Honesty hasn’t been an issue for Vick. But this specific slice of honesty underscores the reality that Vick wasn’t brought in to serve as the content-to-hold-a-clipboard mentor to the younger player. Vick will push Smith to get better, or Vick will push Smith to the bench.
As usual, Vick’s honesty is likely accurate. With coach Rex Ryan’s contract extension operating as a practical matter as a one-year Band-Aid deal, he’s in the same position he occupied last year. And Rex probably needs to get to the playoffs this time in order to secure a real extension. If it appears that Geno, whom the team has propped up recently by pushing the notion that Smith took it upon himself to watch film of the defenses he’ll face this year (which many assumed already was standard operating procedure for starting quarterbacks), can’t get to the next level, Vick will get a chance to return to the level that made him one of the best players in the NFL both with the Falcons and more recently with the Eagles.