The writing is on the wall at New York Jets training camp that Geno Smith, barring an unforeseen circumstance is going to begin the season under center. Even so, it doesn’t mean we should count Michael Vick out as part of the gang green offense, right?
It’s easy to tell that Vick is still dynamic when watching him. If New York can get some use out of him even as the non-starter, should they?
The idea of the Jets using both quarterbacks is something I’ve thought a bit about since the start of camp and naturally, mainstream media posted a blurb about it before what you are reading here. ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini dished on the idea of a tandem quarterback scenario a couple of days ago.
I know what you’re thinking—we’ve seen this before. The Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow experiment was a miserable failure there’s no doubt about it. Cue the nightmares but wake up optimistic because this year’s version of the wildcat just isn’t the same animal.
Actually, it’s not really even a wildcat zo think of it that way. That would require, as Cimini stated, both Geno and Vick are in the game simultaneously. I’m talking about an entire drive or at least a package of plays built around the idea of veteran lefty at quarterback.
Unlike Tebow, Vick is a serious threat to throw the ball downfield—we could tell from our living rooms that Timmy was either running a read option or a dive straight up the gut. No wonder he got stuffed just about every time—the entire operation was starved of imagination and creativity.
Still, we shouldn’t be surprised if Rex Ryan is willing to throw the kitchen sink at opponents in what’s probably a playoffs-or-bust season. In fact, this could end up being a legitimate part of the Jets offense especially in the event Geno struggles early. It’s just one person’s opinion that this could actually work better with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg than it did two years ago and it could be coming to fruition sooner than we think.
Still, there are measures that need to be taken and it remains to be seen if something like this, that’s failed previously under Ryan, can work now.
Although Vick needs the threat of the run to keep the defense off-balance, the point is to get the 34-year old hit less. He’s got a notorious injury history partially caused by taking too many hits and a read-option package wouldn’t be optimal. Hopefully his running would consist of avoiding collapsing pockets on unplanned bursts up field and naked boot legs.
Another aspect of this is not disrupting Smith’s rhythm as inserting Tebow seemed to do with Sanchez. The best cure for this is to never, ever make a QB substitution during a drive; one of the most head-scratching things we’ve seen from Ryan in his tenure.
Some will also assume an insertion of Vick as debilitating to Geno’s confidence. However, Smith’s mental toughness and confidence doesn’t appear like something that could be shaken so easily. He’s always appeared to have a short memory as well. And if Vick going in for a change of pace can help the offense, Smith would likely be on board.
If nothing else, game-planning for Vick would be a considerable addition to the workload for opposing defenses. Anything that can fill their plate during the regimented midweek practice schedule is to the Jets’ advantage.
The most simple reason why trying something like this could be imminent? Vick is still flat-out dangerous. It takes one play for him to alter a game and by not being on the field constantly, chances are better he stays healthy. If the operation of a potential package is done right, perhaps it could be something that contributes rather than something of detriment to the offensive unit.
It’s just a thought—something to consider while watching the Jets throughout the preseason. It seems that Ryan doesn’t want to rock the boat too much and create a circus with a full-fledged QB competition. With that said it also doesn’t mean he wants to leave an explosive option on the bench the entire time…right?
If there’s a place for Mornhinweg to better use Vick than Tony Sparano did Tebow then it really shouldn’t come as a shock to see the Jets create a package of plays for him to be inserted sporadically. This isn’t something we would see in the preseason but more something that’s worked on when the cameras aren’t on at practice.
If things remain how they are now, we will just have to wait and see if the Jets have anything up their sleeve with Vick. And as we inch closer to the 2014 season kickoff, it feels like they just might.