By Ed Baylor: The New York Jets have brought in veteran free agent quarterback Michael Vick to compete with 2nd year starter Geno Smith for the job in 2014, but Smith is still going to be the starter and will be given more reps in training camp and the preseason, according to Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
The Jets aren’t hinting that they’ll be drafting a quarterback in this draft to compete with Smith and Vick for the starting job, as it looks like the management is going to give Smith, a 2nd round draft pick for the Jets from 2013, another season to show whether he’s got the talent to play in the NFL before they move on.
“One thing I want to make sure of is that nothing impedes the young quarterback’s [Smith] progression,” Mornhinweg said during a conference call. “He progressed beautifully in the last quarter of the season. He played winning quarterback, played at a high level, two turnovers in the last four games. We got a play. Geno is in the middle of a progression.”
Morningweg appears to have a very low bar in which he feels that Smith played winning quarterback play during the last part of the season, because Smith’s play was far from great. He completed 53% of his passes against Carolina, 55% against Cleveland and 63% against Miami. The only real difference between that part of the season and the earlier part for him was the fact that he was running the ball more, and turning the ball over less. Smith still looked nervous after he’d take a sack or get hit.
Smith completed 55% of his passes in 2013 with a passing rating of 66.5. Those are not good numbers, and unless he plays better this season, you’ve got to figure that Smith will be on the bench. Of course, the Jets can stubbornly stick it out with him as their starting quarterback, but they’d be risking another losing season like they had in 2013. The Jets’ problem is that 2013 was a poor draft in terms of quarterback talent, and they selected Smith in the 2nd round despite the huge flaws in his game. Instead of drafting Smith, the Jets should have waited a season before drafting to a quarterback.