Michael Vick has been nothing but supportive of Geno Smith since signing with the New York Jets. Vick knows that the starting quarterback job is Smith’s to lose, and all indications are that the former West Virginia star has done nothing to lose it leading up to the season.
But on Thursday, Vick made it clear that he will be ready to take over the reins if called upon and that he doesn’t expect Smith to be on a very long leash.
“At this point, everybody’s required to do everything the same way,” Vick told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. “Geno has taken that step in the right direction. I think he’s ready to lead this team. But there’s been a lot of quarterbacks that started as rookies and started young. There’s really no other way but to go out and win. Regardless of the year the player is in, you got to go out and get it done.
“There wasn’t patience with me. 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.”
There will be some patience, but ultimately Vick is right. Mark Sanchez was injured last season and Rex Ryan didn’t really have another viable option at quarterback when Smith struggled. Ryan stuck with the rookie and Smith ended up getting the job done, all things considered.
This season, Ryan has a 34-year-old veteran with plenty of starting experience lurking in the shadows. Rex also happens to be once again coaching for his job. If the Jets miss the playoffs, there’s a good chance Ryan will find himself on the unemployment line. While you might perceive Vick’s comments as his attempt to put extra pressure on Smith, well all know he’s right. Rex won’t let Geno take the Jets out of playoffs contention without first giving Vick a shot.