Very few people would be surprised if Michael Vick wins the starting quarterback job over Geno Smith for the New York Jets. Vick is a veteran who has trouble protecting the football, but he has won games in the NFL and played under Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg during his entire tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. Most importantly, Vick has Joe Namath’s endorsement.
“If Mike’s healthy I think he’s the better player at this point,” Namath said Tuesday, via Seth Walder of the NY Daily News. “Geno’s got some talent no doubt, but we’ve already seen Michael and what he can do. And having some knowledge of Marty (Mornhinweg’s) offense, I think that’s an advantage too for Michael to make the transition.”
Let’s not understate what Smith did as a rookie last season. He started all 16 games for the Jets with a very limited supporting cast, and he still somehow led the team to an 8-8 record. Granted, he threw just 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, but life as a rookie in the NFL can be incredibly humbling. Plenty have fared worse than Smith.
“Of course, the coaches are going to decide who’s out there,” Namath added. “But boy, I don’t know any football fan that’s been around for the last nine or 10 years that doesn’t think Michael could be outstanding and is probably the best player at this time.”
Jets fans are likely more excited about Vick than they are Smith. Eagles fans felt the same way when their team brought Vick in, but that honeymoon ended in a hurry. Personally, I don’t feel that either quarterback is going to make the Jets a contender in the AFC. But at the moment, Vick’s ceiling is probably slightly higher.
Keep in mind that Namath said last year that the Jets didn’t need to draft Smith. He has always been critical of the team since Rex Ryan came aboard, and I’m sure Rex is tired of hearing it.