Friday, March 7, 2014

New York Jets: QB Geno Smith would improve with addition of Michael Vick

Gang Green might be the new favorite shade of green for free agent Michael Vick after spending the past four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The New York Jets are being rumored to be interested in signing the former No. 1 overall pick from the 2001 NFL Draft this offseason to help bolster the quarterback position this season.

Vick, who was replaced by Nick Foles midway through the 2013 season, could still bring a lot of positives to the Jets even with the prime of his career behind him and turning 34 years old this June.

The biggest of those positives would be to help in the development of second-year quarterback Geno Smith, which had considerable ups and downs in his first season in the NFL.

In 2013, Smith completed 247 of his 443 pass attempts, along with tossing only 12 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions in 16 games played for the Jets. Not to add insult to injury, the 21 interceptions was the most by a rookie quarterback since Peyton Manning tossed 28 in his first season in Indianapolis during the 1998 season.

Smith’s numbers at the end of his first season should have come to no surprise for a rookie to be roughed up by the caliber of today’s NFL defenses following the jump from West Virginia and the Big 12 Conference.

Even with that rough freshman season in 2013, the Jets’ focus should stick to supporting Smith as the team’s starting quarterback, instead of bringing in Vick to take the signal caller job in 2014.

At the same time, Smith would be motivated to improve and keep his spot on the team with the 11-year veteran nipping at his heels during training camp and the preseason.

Smith didn’t have that type of pressure on him from a backup last season, so he could be pushed to avoid another late season slump and push the Jets into the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

Vick could also help speed up Smith’s understanding of the play calling with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg this season, which held the same position during Vick’s time with the Eagles during the 2009-2012 seasons.

The Jets’ offense, which was poor in every category outside of the running game with Chris Ivory, would be helped greatly if the organization selected a wide receiver with the 18th pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Texas A&M’s Mike Evans could give Smith a big target to look for sprinting down the sideline, which could drastically improve the Jets' passing game that ranked 30th last season.

If the case of an injury happens in the preseason or early in the regular season, Smith would still have a backup that could step in as starting quarterback in an offense that he should grasp with Mornhinweg.

With potential still yet to be uncovered in Smith, the Jets needs to add the consistency and leadership of Vick to the franchise’s quarterback position instead of another quarterback controversy along sidelines of MetLife Stadium.

You can follow Chris at @_CBH_ and WVUPros at @WVUPros on Twitter.

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