Give Michael Vick a lot of credit for this: he has said and done everything right since joining the New York Jets. Vick was quick to point out that he signed to be a mentor and competitor to Geno Smith, not a replacement. Vick was willing to change his number, which is a big deal to a lot of veterans, and he continues to publicly back Smith. Vick’s latest comments left no doubt about where the Jets currently stand on their quarterbacks, saying “Geno’s the starting quarterback”.
It’s well and good that Vick and the Jets are saying the right things and claiming that Smith is the clear favorite to start, but that is all going to change very soon. When the Jets open OTAs in a few weeks the competition will officially be on, and every mistake Smith makes will only increase the calls for Vick to be the starter. Rex Ryan knows he must win to save his job, and he is not focused on building for the future. With that in mind, it’s hard to see Smith as the favorite.
The Jets need to get their quarterback situation settled as early as possible. A quarterback controversy that drags out long into the preseason and divides the locker room will only make things more difficult. The first half of the Jets’ schedule is very difficult, and they can’t afford to be sorting out a quarterback battle while trying to prepare for a season in which they have playoff ambitions.
Regardless of whatever Vick or anyone else says, the Jets are certainly going to have a full blown quarterback competition this offseason. All they can hope for is that either Smith or Vick proves to be clearly superior and easily wins the job. If that doesn’t happen, this situation will drag on into the season and could prove very disruptive to the Jets’ hopes for this season.