Ten organized team activities have come and gone for the New York Jets. They now have their sights set on next week’s minicamp, and the coaching staff is expecting to learn a lot about what they’ve got to work with on this roster.
As of now, the Jets have four quarterbacks heading into Tuesday’s mandatory minicamp. Of those four, Geno Smith and Michael Vick are the prominent two competing for a starting position, and coach Rex Ryan is excited about what he’s seen. While he likes that the competition between the two is great for pushing eachother as well as the entire team, he won’t say who he likes better at this point and that’s expected this early on.
Jets legend and former quarterback Joe Namath hasn’t been shy about his opinion of who should win the starting job. Namath has publicly stated that he thinks if Mike is healthy, which is always the factor with him, then he’ll be the better player to move forward with at this point. Vick is a proven veteran in the league and has made his skill set very well known throughout the league. His elusiveness and vision on the field while leading the offense speaks for itself, that is when he’s healthy.
It would be silly to dismiss what Smith did last season as a rookie because he did have some bright moments that helped the team achieve the 8-8 record they finished up with. Sure Smith has some familiarity with the playbook and has chemistry built up with his teammates, but is a mediocre rookie season enough to keep him as a starter when Vick is on the roster?
Let’s see, Smith had a 55.8 completion percentage, 21 interceptions and only 12 touchdowns. It took Vick four seasons to accumulate that many interceptions. In 13 seasons played, Vick’s average completion percentage isn’t much more than Smith’s rookie year, but Vick has something Smith does not. Vick has played with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg for four seasons, two of which were arguably the best seasons Vick has had in the NFL receiving his best quarterback ratings.
This will be the storyline of the Jets preseason as we watch these two quarterbacks compete for the job and Ryan dance around announcing a decision.
In the meantime, Smith told the media he has been enjoying working alongside Mike.
“[He’s] a wily vet. He knows a lot about this game. He’s played in a number of games and all I can do is try and learn from him. It’s just great to be out there and to compete with guys like Mike and Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd as well.”
We shall see in the coming weeks, as all the moving pieces come together throughout minicamp and then training camp, who will rise to the top and lead the offense.