Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWith a little more time to think, here’s some thoughts now that the Jets have acquired Michael Vick. Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Vick is not the Jets panacea — Signing Michael Vick doesn’t fix everything that ails the Jets. No one is under that delusion, but it does buttress one of the most important and thinnest positions on the team. The team still has long-term questions at the quarterback position on March 22. At 34 years of age, Vick might be to the point where as Gregg Rosenthal wrote “he’s just good enough to get you beat. (And he’s still an upgrade on many starters out there.)” That said, he played better than Geno Smith did last season, while losing out to an ascending Nick Foles who posted an impeccable turnover ratio and helped steer an Eagles team into the playoffs.
In a perfect world — As we can all attest, perfect plans rarely, if ever, work out for the Jets. Even so, in a “perfect” situation, Geno Smith would play every snap for the Jets in 2014 and continue to show the growth that we saw from him at the end of the 2013 season. As opposed to 2013’s David Garrard, Vick would be Smith’s much more competent, much less creaky, mentor from the sideline. Vick would help Smith learn the nuances of the Marty Mornhinweg offense and push Smith to be a better player. Should Smith stumble, Rex will have Vick at the ready. While he’s not the player he once was, he still ranked 23rd according to ProFootballFocus in 20013 (Smith ranked 41st).
In Gary Myers world — Vick is here solely to supplant Geno Smith as the starter. Is that a surprise and since when is that a bad thing? With the No. 18 pick in the first round, the Jets are most likely out of the running for an immediate starter. Their best chance is to let the guy who fell to them in the second round in 2013 and a veteran quarterback duke it out. Vick was the best of the options on the market, it’s not a long-term answer, but it was better than vainly hoping for Mark Sanchez to rise from the ashes. Ironic, since Sanchez started as ashes. If I was a football coach, I’m pretty sure I’d only want players on my team who want more playing time and more responsibility.
This is not Tebow Part II — Unlike Tim Tebow, there’s never been much doubt about Vick’s ability to throw the football. He is a quarterback and while there might be a quarterback controversy deep into camp, it will be a better competition than what we saw two years ago. Vick is a better deep passer, good off the play action and since coming to Philly he’s gotten much better at hanging in the pocket. On the move, Vick is less effective in completing passes, but as a traditional passing offense with a solid running game he can be effective. While they might not have an elite passer, at least the the Jets have two players they can choose between, something they haven’t truly had in a very long time.
The best receiver and quarterback — The Jets have been under fire for the last week due to their moves in free agency. Rightly? Wrongly. Here’s what we know: Vick was the best quarterback on the market in the last month and the newly minted Eric Decker was the best at his spot. I’ll admit that I still have my doubts about the extent to which the Jets were involved in free agency when it comes to their defense, but they got the best two players in a pass-heavy league. That has to count for something.
No matter who is starting at quarterback, more moves need be made — The way that a team deals with a questionable quarterback situation is by putting complementary offensive pieces around the quarterback in the run and pass and fielding a strong defense. We saw that work (kinda) in 2009 and 2010. The Jets probably won’t collect the same amount of talent as those teams between now and September, but leaving the uncertainty at cornerback aside for now, the Jets could still make some more notable acquisitions on offense. Wide receiver is still in question and the Jets have been linked to DeSean Jackson. The front office is racking up the frequent flyer miles when it comes to Pro Days for some of the 2014 NFL Draft’s top receivers. Beyond that, the Jets still need a durable third down / change of pace running back (regardless of Mike Goodson) and they need to take an unbiased look at their projected starters on the right side of the offensive line. Neither Breno Giacomini nor Willie Colon can be considered even mediocre run blockers. Don’t expect those guys to be handed the starting position come camp. The point here is, while they now have a basis from which to work, we still expect some impact players to be added to this team (specifically this offense) between now and camp.