Vick’s arrival in New York takes impatience with young quarterbacks to a new level

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Once upon a time, quarterbacks acquired with a high pick in the draft got several years to figure out how to play in the NFL.  For most, that included a year or more of learning without playing.

Now, quarterbacks taken at the top of the draft quickly get thrust into the fray.  And if they don’t quickly figure out how to play at the NFL level, they’re quickly cast aside.

From a five-year plan to a three-year plan to what may now be a one-year mandate, the reduced cost of young talent under the rookie wage scale has created, in some cities, an up-or-out mentality, regardless of the magnitude of the pick invested in the quarterback.

Last year, some thought Jets G.M. John Idzik wanted Geno Smith, the 39th overall pick in the draft and second quarterback taken, to start from Week One so that the Jets would know what they have in Smith, in the event they land at the top of round one in the 2014 draft.

The possibility of a high second-round pick being on a one-year arrangement seemed bizarre.  But it now appears to be a reality.

Mike Vick, at this point in his career, plays the position (if healthy) better than Smith.  Smith’s high-road welcome of Vick to New York could be viewed as a concession of that fact.

Actually, Smith’s words read a bit like he’s relieved.

Maybe the Jets are putting a new twist on the modern NFL.  Maybe the rookie quarterback can start for a year, be supplanted by a veteran if the rookie doesn’t instantly become a star, and then reclaim the job after the veteran’s one-year contract expires.

Instead of having the rookie take a seat for a year or more, maybe today’s NFL will from time to time entail a rookie who fails the baptism by fire, takes a year to heal his wounds, and then gives it another try.

Either way, it’s a strange new dynamic in the win-now NFL, where teams truly are constructed on a year-to-year basis — and where young players don’t get as much leeway as they used to when trying to figure out how to thrive.

36 responses to “Vick’s arrival in New York takes impatience with young quarterbacks to a new level

  1. i’ve been saying for awhile the jets getting vick is a win/win, regardless who’s starting. it’s not a bad thing to put a vet in and let geno watch from another view. regardless, when geno’s names called he’ll prove he can play, hopefully it’s out of training camp.

  2. Should have said it doesn’t happen with every team. Sounds like the Jets panicked last year … or are panicking this year.

  3. NFL Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl Champion Terry Bradshaw would have never had a prayer in this era of accelerated expectations of rookie QBs.

    Brad really was on the right end of a confluence of perfect circumstances. Very very few QBs are so fortunate.

  4. What I never understood from this current trend is why? You would have thought the incentive the get what you pay for in the days before the rookie cap with the Matt Stafford type qb contracts.

    McNair waited 3 years to step up.. Aaron Rodgers was in a different situation.

    Some guys are suited to be starters like Luck, RGIII, RW3… or are drafted to be starters… but someone like Gabbert deserved to sit for a season instead of being thrust into it.

  5. The problem is that the 2011-2012 QB draft classes have set the bar so high. Look at what RGIII did in his first year. Kaep has been to a SB; Wilson already has a ring. Luck has turned his team around and so has Newton. It makes what Manuel and Smith did in their first years look pedestrian. There’s no patience anymore.

  6. I think that most teams that are highly impatient and want to blow up their QB situation if they don’t have an instant star, are the teams that usually wind up on the outside looking in most years. Virtually every young QB needs at least a little time to settle in and get comfortable in the NFL…patience usually pays off.

  7. It IS a new level, and a ridiculous one, even for first rounders…look at all the first rounders who have floudered (Ponder, Gabbert, Weeden) and at those who, in years past, would look just fine but now are compared to guys like Luck and Wilson and fans already want to give up them even if they have gotten better (particularly thinking of Tannehill here…good gosh almighty Dolphins fans are waaaayyy too impatient! They expect him to take Fins to Super Bowl win when the almighty Dan Marino never did!) This also applies to young developing QBs who have the misfortune of changing head coaches or GMs…if this was today and not 1970 and Don Shula, newly arrived in Miami, would maybe have wanted to get rid of Bob Griese because he wasn’t developing fast enough…would Dolphins have won back-to-back Super Bowls if Shula had done that? Doubtful they’d have even gotten to one!

  8. I’m not so sure Newton deserves the same credit has the others mentioned above in turning the Panthers around. I think it’s more fair to say the defense gave Cam room to be a more selective and smarter QB who made fewer mistakes. I think Newton has talent but I don’t think he ranks up there with those who have been amazingly fast out of the gate.

  9. Because not every rookie is a Luck or Wilson.

    I think the jury is even out on a guy like RGIII.
    Hell of a rookie year… but now? We’ll see.

  10. it’s exactly what the nfl’s been doing for decades only it often involves the young qb getting traded, or cut, and going to a new team for his 2nd chance.

  11. So the QB who had his best comeback season running Mohrenwig’s (The Jets OC)system. Who had been a good teammate to young QB’s he has competed with. And has a similar skill set to the younger QB and has been the most successful playing that style than any QB available. But Jet fans say its a mistake? And you wonder why Giant fans laugh at you.

  12. Strange new dynamic? This is not a dynamic or a trend, it’s the NFL and there aren’t logical decision makers that fill these GM posts. Everybody has their own plan and experiments in their own way and Idzik is another player throwing his hat in the ring. You can’t study a group of lousy GMs and start to draw consensus conclusions about dynamics. If the decisions aren’t quality decisions then you are going to have a warped perspective of how things SHOULD be. So first break things down by determining which GMs you are even acknowledging as a qualified logical mind that way I know what you are counting as fair game and part of the subjective data set.

  13. Ironically it was the Jets, that produced the first of the instant star QB’s in the modern era, when they drafted Joe Namath out of ‘Bama. He took them to the Super Bowl and beat the high-flying Colts. There have been precious few young QB’s since that have equaled that feat. Two years ago the draft coughed up a bunch of very talented guys. Last year, not so much. This year? We’ll see. But the real problem as I see it, is not the players themselves, but all of the media hype that surrounds them. Does there breathe a soul who isn’t convinced that Johnny Manziel, will win a SB, in his first year? Regardless of which team he goes to? With all of the hyped up praise he’s been getting by the journalists for the last year, you would think so.

    They did this with Geno, last year, to a lesser extent. They pegged him to a pre-season standard that he couldn’t possibly reach. Unless of course he were a duplicate of the Jets’ most storied QB, Flash Gordon.

  14. Let’s also not forget that rookie QB in Baltimore who stepped in from being third on the depth chart behind Kyle Boller and Troy Smith that took his team to 5 straight playoffs and a super bowl win; Joe Flacco.

    Some guys are just ready to play from day one, and other guys aren’t. Troy Aikman was terrible his first year. Peyton Manning wasn’t very good out of the gate.

    I mean, the reason why you are picking so high is because your team is terrible. It usually takes a couple of years to get that right group of talent around your guy to make him successful.

    I think the Jets are smart to keep Geno around, he has some talent. Let Vick come in and Geno can learn from Vick’s mistakes and success. Then when the time comes, Geno has a bit more information under his belt and can maybe relax some.

  15. Giants fans laugh at the NY team that won more games than they did? That’s funny…Now we’re laughing.

  16. That’s fine and all, I get it because the life of a coach is about 3 years sometimes 2 and if he is really bad sometimes one. A new QB buys more time so why not change too early.

    The problem there is what about the QB that needs that work. There are a lot of great hall of fame QB’s that took time to develop.

    Think of the Steve Young’s, Kurt Warnner’s even Drew Brees wasn’t what he became. That is just of the few of the names that today’s game will miss out on.

    That alone is reason enough to bring something like NFL Europe or the USFL back. If they don’t get the time in the NFL they need a place to go to develop. The nfl needs more QB’s and can’t miss out on that talent that takes a while to develop.

  17. What do you really expect from a franchise that has never developed a great franchise QB?

    Namath was a joke and underserving of the HOF. Just look at his stats. And he was the best they have ever had.
    Small wonder.

  18. You know Vick is the starter, he would have just stayed in Philadelphia with a better team and a chance for the playoffs, only way he’s not is if he gets hurt in training camp.

  19. Namath was a joke and underserving of the HOF. Just look at his stats

    If you keep looking at 1969 with a 2014 perspective, you’ll be often confused and disappointed.

  20. I can see this move, maybe, if the Jets were a playoff team trying to get over the hump. Now let’s me real. The Jets need more than a few players to get to the Bowl. Might as well spend another year letting Geno develop than bring in Vick as a stopgap. Get the boy some weapons.

  21. Michael Vick mentoring Geno can only be good for Geno and he knows it……Mike (unlike Favre) will be selfless in his sharing of knowledge with the young fella, and give Geno time to grow…’s a win-win for them both. Mike gets to start for maybe a few more years. Best of luck Mike…….Eagles fan here.

  22. The irony here is that Michael Vick was given more time to develop than any quarterback in the history of the NFL. While there are those here trashing Joe Namath’s career stats, take a look at Vick’s–excluding of course the ones he compiled with the prison football team. The fact that this guy is still in the league, no less being mentioned as a starter is a joke!

  23. Will Geno give his number 7 to Vick? Getting rid of Sanchez’ for Vick is a good move, but also will plant the seed in Geno’s ear that he’ll have to play better. If not, the fans will being cheering for Vick at halftime.

  24. I always have to laugh when I hear people bring up Namath’s stats and say he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

    Bill Walsh himself said Namath was “the most beautiful, accurate, stylish passer with the quickest release I’ve ever seen.” – BILL WALSH, guys.

    Like others have noted, you need to put his stats in context. He played in the 1960s, long before all of the QB friendly rules that have led to video game stats in today’s NFL came into being.

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