Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez. Geno Smith, and Michael Vick. The past three seasons have provided one polarizing Jets quarterback after another. Tebow, for the maniacal fanfare and minimal throwing ability that followed him wherever he went. Sanchez, for the way you either loved him or hated him as a quarterback and leader as time went on. Especially after the Buttfumble. Smith, for the Jets drafting then starting him just a year before a richer quarterback class was turning pro. Now it’s Vick, and the spotlight that is poised to once again shine on his dogfighting past.
PETA has already chimed in. Marcus Vick, Michael’s outspoken brother as well. Jet fans on Twitter reside on both sides of the argument and neither school of thought lacks the passion. We have to try and stop acting like the Tea Partiers and the Occupy Wall Street though folks and rather, accept both those who can forgive and those who can’t. Even the ones who are saying they will out and out walk away as Jet fans.
There is no right or wrong as far as how one wants to see Vick now. The only unquestionable wrong was the criminal action itself. Whatever Vick’s role was in the operation, it doesn’t matter. He shouldn’t have been taking part. Nobody should be doing that to dogs or any other animal for that matter. Which should bring up the point as to why it’s fair to condemn Vick while eating burgers, dogs, ribs and chicken at the tailgate party but anyway..
Vick served his time and since the arrest and conviction several years ago, seems to have changed his life and outlook on animal rights. However there will always be those for whom no amount of apologies by Vick will be enough. That is reality. So expect protest signs in Florham Park, like it or not.
As for the strategy of obtaining Vick, how many better options were out there in terms of getting an affordable quality veteran QB? With experience in the current OC’s system no less.
As a player, durability will always be a factor for Vick. If he can stay healthy, even at 34 Mike Vick can still be a playmaker. He will have to cut down on the unnecessary risk taking. Through the air and with his legs. Which for a guy who thrives on making plays instinctively, will be easier to achieve on a practice field than it will facing live bullets. I don’t believe that Vick is here primarily to push Geno. Whoever runs the offense better this summer will start.
Smith gained experience as a player after a full season at the helm but whether that translates into immediate next level production is anyone’s guess. Should Smith wind up the starter when training camp comes to a close, I doubt the Jets will allow him to struggle while the team loses game after game in the name of growth. Not with Vick holding the clipboard next to Rex. Then there is also the question of what affect losing the job may have on Geno’s emotional state going forward. Assuming the Jets even care about Geno’s long term emotional state.
Only the Jets could somehow sign a Michael Vick to compete with an underwhelming second year quarterback yet double its own question marks at the position. It will soon be up to Ryan and the coaching staff to sort this quarterback stuff out. For a second year in a row.
Embattled QB Mark Sanchez as we all know was released the day of the Vick signing. His exit took place one week after a host of teams grabbed their new veteran backups and starters. The Jets could have been nice and released him earlier. Oh well, sorry Sanchize.
The former USC product was drafted in the top ten in 2009 but landed on the doorstep of Florham in loose handcuffs. Where he was given the wiggle room to start but told to manage games, or to simply not screw them up. As a rookie for a playoff ready veteran team, his early development as a player was stunted in the name of sensible conservatism. Sanchez’s ability to win playoff road games by completing minimal but at times key throws, gave the club confidence that year three was the right time to raise the bar for him.
By 2011 he was asked to open it up, but for many reasons Sanchez was unable to succeed with the change of direction. Tim Tebow’s arrival in 2012 and subsequent summer long shadow didn’t help Sanchez regain any confidence lost in 2011. The Sanchize was then treated like a scrub, getting injured in the second half of a preseason game that ended his season in 2013. Alright well it WAS the must win Snoopy Bowl.
Sanchez had three different offensive coordinators in five years but was lucky enough to be handed the job right out of the gates. With no risk of losing the gig to those who stood in line behind him for the first three.
Sanchez is as responsible for the crime of playing himself out of a job as the Jets are for making a solid foundation tough for him, but he can be reprogrammed and find success elsewhere. St Louis, where both his former playcaller Brian Schottenheimer and the oft injured Sam Bradford behind center reside, could be the perfect fit.
The guy is only 27 but it starts between the shoulder pads. Sanchez has to believe in himself again the way he did during those first two January playoff runs. When as a kid, he knocked out Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in January. Something that how many quarterbacks starting in the NFL today can say then have done?
The fans who comprise the dwindling yet loyal Sanchez Cult may still believe he was the better option going forward than Vick. However it would be hard even for them to deny the fact that many at Jet Life stadium were still prepared to make it hell on him if he stayed. He deserves a clean slate and a fresh start. He’s a good guy. I am rooting for him.
What Is Going On In Philly With DeSean?
I can’t figure out for the life of me why the Eagles may be willing to release big time weapon DeSean Jackson. He’s being bantered about like he is Chaz Schilens or something. He’s a very pricey piece but is he not one of the league’s top offensive threats? Philly can’t get him to restructure? Maybe the gang sign he gave in an Instagram photo days ago is the tip of a dangerous iceberg the public doesn’t know about yet. I can’t figure out.
If on paper Michael Vick gives the Jets another option then adding Jackson would push the club towards immediate relevance even further. If you are the Jets and want Jackson, then don’t wait. Be willing to pay a little more and trade for him now.
The price for Jackson through a trade will be higher than it will be should he get released, but the competition for his services from teams with less cap space will increase after he is let go as well. If you are the Jets and your research tells you that D Jax is not a locker room malcontent or criminal in waiting, then don’t wish you made a trade next week over two to three million dollars. Not for a 27 year old star in his prime who is young enough to help the cause both now and later.
- Remember those who begged for Greg McElroy to be the teams QB of the future, after he leap frogged the supposedly injured Tim Tebow for the number two job? Oh the beloved 2012 circus.
McElroy retired last week at age 26. I will always fondly recall the day when he replaced a struggling Sanchez to the sheer delight of the home crowd. Then saved the pathetic Tony Sparano challenged Jets offense from itself. Leading Gang Green to a super ugly 7-6 win over the lowly Cardinals. All thanks to one modest touchdown drive. Which at the time felt impressive considering back then, the Jets offense made a hundred yards feel like the entire length of the New Jersey Turnpike.
McElroy will also be remembered sharing his vantage point in the combustible locker room of 2011. A year capped by the Santonio drama in Miami on the seasons final day. After the season’s disappointing 9-7 finish, Mac told 97.3 The Zone in Alabama “there were people within our locker room that didn’t care whether we won or lost as long as they got theirs, they had a good game individually. And that’s the disappointing thing.” I was actually surprised the Jets kept him after that, but those were the days when airing out dirty laundry in public and the open door policy was applauded if not encouraged. Speaking of which..
- On Sunday Woody Johnson said “we have a lot of confidence in Geno.” Days after Rex Ryan told ESPN radio that a Sanchez return is still a possibility while Vick was in Florham Park pen in hand practically signing his deal. I’m beginning to think that nowadays anything a Jet coach or suit says might be the exact opposite of the truth. Which I’m ok with. Remain silent, or say what you need to Woody, as long the club is moving in the right direction and not penalized with any loss of draft picks. Which takes us to..
- Woody’s public proclamation regarding interest that the Jets have in Jackson is tampering, is it not? It’s best for Gang Green to stay quiet about D Jax if for any other reason, to keep the team out of trouble. Besides, talk alone is not enough to prove to fans that the Jets want to “win now.” Despite staying out of the veteran cornerback market.