Michael Vick was upset that Riley Cooper didn’t text him back

Riley-Cooper-EaglesMichael Vick called supporting Riley Cooper “the best thing I have done as a professional athlete” in a recent interview with Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com. Vick was the first person to publicly support Cooper and accept his apology after the receiver was filmed making racist remarks at a country music concert last summer.

Vick believes that without his support, Cooper’s career may have ended. Prior to this week, he questioned whether Cooper appreciated it.

“I just hope he’s [appreciative] of my boldness to step out in front of the world and say what I said, and he appreciates what I did and understands the magnitude of it, because nobody else was going to step up and say anything,” Vick explained. “I could’ve said the same thing that 25 of my teammates were saying, and there was built-up anger.

“A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you. After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way. But I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.”

Vick obviously was holding some sort of grudge, or he never would have brought up the unreturned text message. However, the veteran quarterback’s spokesman told O’Connor on Wednesday that Vick and Cooper had spoken since Vick’s interview and are “all good.”

“I changed the whole dynamic of that situation, and that was a proud moment for me,” Vick added. “I was able to save a young man’s career, and that young man went on to have the greatest year of his career and get a contract that he probably never imagined he would get.”

While we don’t know if Vick deserves all the credit for Cooper’s success last season, there were rumblings about Cooper’s career potentially being in jeopardy. An endorsement from a black teammate certainly helped ease the tension on some level.

H/T Deadspin

Michael Vick calls report about him not trying to win starting job ‘fictitious’

Michael-Vick-JetsGeno Smith has played relatively well throughout training camp and the preseason, and as a result his starting job has never really been in jeopardy.

On Friday, a report from Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com cited anonymous New York Jets coaches who were “disappointed” that Vick didn’t make more of an effort to beat out Smith.

No one is intimating that Vick is washed up, which is why some Jets coaches have privately expressed disappointment that Vick didn’t show up more hell-bent on winning the starting job, or at least a little more vested in making Ryan lose sleep again as he agonized over a difficult decision.

As you might expect, the report irritated Vick.

“That’s not true; that’s not true at all,” Vick said Friday, per Dom Cosentino of NJ.com. “Me and my coaches, we have great conversations, we have a different dialogue, and that was far from the case. So whoever wrote that story, it was on the side of being very fictitious. You’ve got to come up with better stories that that. There’s better things to talk about.”

According to Pro Football Talk, Vick was told before he signed with the Jets that the starting quarterback job belonged to Smith. The former West Virginia star led New York to an 8-8 record last year, which is impressive for a rookie no matter what his passing stats were. PFT’s source added that Vick has “worked his ass” thus far in New York.

The Jets want Smith to play well enough to keep Vick on the sidelines. That’s the reason they used a second-round draft pick on him. That said, Rex Ryan brought in a viable backup with starting experience for a reason. Like Vick recently said, the Jets probably won’t be overly patient with Smith. Ryan is coaching for his job, and Vick is more than just injury insurance.

Michael Vick: There won’t be patience with Geno Smith

Michael-Vick-JetsMichael 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.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Donovan McNabb blasts Jets for possible Michael Vick wildcat usage

Michael-Vick-JetsThere are many people who believe using Michael Vick in wildcat packages would stunt the growth of Geno Smith as an NFL quarterback. The New York Jets may end up using Vick as a wrinkle in their offense, as Vick hinted at when speaking with reporters recently.

Donovan McNabb thinks that would be a horrendous idea.

“The Jets tried this whole garbage with Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez and it got them nowhere,” McNabb told the NY Daily News on Tuesday. “In the situation now, I think it takes away from what Geno Smith can do. It’s a maturity process for him to try to develop into an NFL quarterback. Now you’re taking him off the field or splitting him wide to bring in a 34-year-old quarterback? To do what? I understand the ‘wow’ effect, but it’s not a good thing for either quarterback.”

Obviously, the Tebow experiment was a massive failure. We don’t know if he made a Jets offense that has been horrible for years any worse, but he certainly didn’t help. Not only that, but McNabb is convinced that is not how Vick wants to be used anyway.

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Michael Vick hints at possibility of playing change-of-pace for Geno Smith

Michael-Vick-JetsGeno Smith and Michael Vick both led scoring drives for the New York Jets during their first preseason game on Monday night. Smith and Vick played two series each and neither turned the ball over. The starting job is Smith’s to lose at this point, but could both be in New York’s offensive plans going forward?

Rex Ryan raved about both quarterbacks after the game. Vick proved he can still blow by defenders by ripping off a 15-yard run while Smith showed solid accuracy on his throws. After the game, Vick shot down the notion of using two quarterbacks during regular season games.

“That disrupts the timing of the offense,” Vick said, per NJ.com’s Dom Cosentino. “I think it has to be done at the right time. I experienced that in Philadelphia, with Donovan [McNabb] at times. You want to go out there and let the quarterbacks get into a rhythm and not try to do too much. I think that’s doing too much.”

But as Cosentino noted, Vick left the window for a change-of-pace role open as he continued speaking with reporters.

“When the time calls for it,” he said, “I think the coaches will see fit that that’s put in.”

In an ideal world, the time won’t call for it. The Jets want Smith to play well enough that Vick is a backup and nothing else. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but we all know what happened the last time the Jets brought a quarterback in to potentially play a change-of-pace role. Remember that Tebow guy?

Maybe the Jets are better off picking one quarterback and sticking with him.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Plaxico Burress: Michael Vick will be Jets’ starting quarterback

Michael VickPlaxico Burress thinks he knows who will end up as the starting quarterback of the New York Jets, and it’s not Geno Smith.

Plaxico was serving as a guest analyst on ESPN’s “NFL Live” Monday and shared his thoughts on the Jets quarterback race. Simply stated, Plaxico believes Michael Vick will win the starting job.

“I know Rex Ryan and I know his mindset. He brought Michael Vick in there for a reason. Geno Smith is very capable of playing the quarterback position, but when it comes to training camp and it comes to the preseason with those two guys competing to win the starting job, I know Michael Vick very well. I know (Vick’s) competitive nature and his will to play the game,” Burress said of Vick.

“Michael Vick will be the starter on opening day for the New York Jets. When it comes down to evaluating the quarterback position, being a pure passer and a guy who can make plays, and when it comes down to decision-making … Michael Vick will be the starter on opening day for the New York Jets.”

When “NFL Live” host Jonathan Coachman questioned Burress’ thinking by pointing out that Rex has supported the team’s 2013 second-round pick, Burress still stood by his prediction.

“Rex can say Geno is his guy, but when it comes down to competing for a starting job, it’s going to be Michael Vick.”

What makes Burress a respected voice on the subject? He played for the Jets in 2011, so he spent a season with Ryan as his coach.

I don’t know if Vick will be the starter in Week 1, but I agree with Burress that Vick is the better quarterback between the two. And even if Vick wins the job, he’ll get hurt like he always does, so it’s not like Geno wouldn’t start at least some games.

We’ll see whether Plaxico turns out to be right. All I know is that guy is inaudible and not a very good person to have on a TV show. I had to crank up my volume just to get a few sentences.

Report: Michael Vick has been ‘laughably bad’ in practice

Michael VickStarting positions in the NFL are typically not won or lost in mid-June, but that might wind up being the case with the New York Jets. The Jets want Geno Smith to earn the starting quarterback job so they can continue to develop him as a player and solidify the future of their offense.

According to one report, Smith is getting absolutely no competition from Michael Vick at the moment.

Vick, who recently said that it hurts “deep down” to not be a starting quarterback, has apparently looked horrendous during minicamp. The New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch shared some observations after watching practice on Wednesday morning.

It’s also worth noting that Smith isn’t exactly lighting it up, so he’s probably not running away with the job at the moment.

All things considered, Smith did a decent job last season. He’s reportedly getting 75% of the first-team reps in camp for a reason. Starting as a rookie quarterback in the NFL is an incredibly difficult task, and Smith proved that by turning the ball over a ton. He also managed to win eight games, so it could have been much worse.

Fortunately for Vick, it is only June 19. But if he doesn’t improve dramatically over the next two months, it sounds like Rex Ryan will have a very easy decision on his hands.

H/T Pro Football Zone