It seems as if we all have our own theories in regards to why would the New York Jets bring in Michael Vick. Maybe they don't believe that Geno Smith is 'the guy' at quarterback. Maybe in contrast they are just simply trying to push Geno Smith to become that guy. Or maybe gang green just ultimately wanted a veteran insurance policy at quarterback, someone who can come in and get it done in the event that Geno Smith crumbles, something that could have been beneficial to have around last season.
Current New York Jets quarterbacks Geno Smith (left), & Michael Vick.
Actually with Michael Vick on the roster last year, one could argue that Vick would have saved the season during the team's collective drop-off. One could also argue that Geno Smith never would have been on a downward spiral to begin with if Vick was in that locker room. I mean who was pushing Geno last season at quarterback? Matt Simms? Josh Cribbs?
Then again, the whole offensive line crumbled during said regression, and Jeremy Kerley--the Jets number one receiver last season...no seriously--was injured, missing three straight games.
Side note: The Jets were 0-4 without Jeremy Kerley last season, 8-4 with him, and despite missing 25% of the season he managed to lead the team in receiving yards with 523.
So let's look at these three possible outcomes with Michael Vick now in the picture. First of all, as dynamic as Michael Vick was, and as much as I have been defending him (https://fantasyknuckleheads.com/Defending-Michael-Vick) he's pretty damn overrated as a quarterback if you ask me. Yeah I know I just committed a sin for those who owned Madden 2004 and abused defenses with Michael Vick, hell I used to deal Chad Pennington for him--of course not straight up--all of the time. But here is a guy who has a career completion percentage of 56.2% after spending 11 seasons in the NFL. He's only thrown 20 touchdowns or more twice in his lengthy career, and has played a full 16 game season once. Yes he's had nearly 6,000 rushing yards, including a season where he rushed for over 1,000, but the bottom line is that we pretty much can understand the ceiling of a 34 year old, injury-riddled, not as dynamic version of Michael Vick.
And as a matter of fact, Geno Smith might be the better quarterback.
Despite having Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates, and an all-star cast of suck at wide receiver, Geno Smith managed to help get this team to 8 victories, no matter which way you slice it, and threw at a near 56% clip, which is just about Michael Vick's career average. Oh, and did I mention that some of the Jets receivers last season couldn't you know, receive?
It feels like Stephen Hill has dropped as many passes as Rex Ryan has dropped pounds.
Geno Smith--who is about 6'3, 225 lbs., is also bigger and stronger than Vick, who is listed as a generous 6'0, and has never weighed above 215 lbs., so maybe that's why Geno Smith has completed the same amount of 16 game seasons as Michael Vick after just, you know...one?
Not to completely absolve Geno Smith because he too was part of the problem, but not as much as everyone in the media will tell you he was, the man went down with the ship. During his mid-season regression against Buffalo, and Baltimore respectively, it was as if D'Brickashaw Ferguson forgot how to cover the blindside. Seemingly every-time Geno Smith would drop back to pass, he had 300 pounds of defensive line in his grill. Head Coach Rex Ryan was also quick to point out that Geno Smith would be "very tough to beat out" and possessed the second highest QBR in the NFL in the last four games of the season, which I noted in (https://fantasyknuckleheads.com/new-york-jets-stick-with-geno-smith/).
Also noted in said article; The New York Jets were 6-0 when Geno Smith ran for a touchdown.
So let's stop this assumption that Michael Vick is going to come in and beat out Geno Smith easily, because one can argue that he isn't even the better quarterback at this stage of his career. Geno Smith had a worst receiving group last season than Michael Vick has ever had while still managing to have many encouraging moments, and with the addition of Eric Decker the group is already immensely improved over last season. the Jets could potentially add a Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham, or a Marqise Lee in the NFL Draft, and possibly a Donte Moncrief, or a Brandon Coleman later on.
Oh it's Salas? My sincerest apologies...
But you get the point, this job may be up for grabs, but this is Geno Smith's time to grow with some legitimate receivers at his disposal. In my estimation, Michael Vick will be holding the clipboard during week 1, but Geno Smith may be on a tight leash. Vick does have tons of experience in this league and would be the mentor that Geno Smith may desperately need. In fact they allegedly are friends already, which obviously never hurts.
Those of you saying that Michael Vick will be a distraction to Geno Smith; you tell me how Vick being around affected Nick Foles last year. You know, the guy who had a touchdown-interception ratio of 27-2?
If you read my article on defending Michael Vick, you'll know why I think he may be reformed to a degree, and I believe that he can come in and mentor Geno Smith without any distractions or negative ripple effect that will impact Smith's production. Geno Smith should be able to take a big step forward with Michael Vick behind him in the depth chart, but in the unlikely event resulting in a quarterback implosion, Vick should be able to step in and guide this team to victories, until he pulls his hamstring again.