NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Vick says there’s a time and a place for the wildcat offense.
Donovan McNabb, his former teammate on the Philadelphia Eagles, knows when and where.
Never. And in a landfill.
“The Jets tried this whole garbage with Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez and it got them nowhere,” McNabb told the New York Daily News. “In the situation now, I think it takes away from what Geno Smith can do. It’s a maturity process for him to try to develop into an NFL quarterback. Now you’re taking him off the field or splitting him wide to bring in a 34-year-old quarterback? To do what?”
The Tebow-Sanchez disaster of two seasons ago was the most obvious example of the wildcat under Rex Ryan. But before Tebow, the Jets coach used Brad Smith as a change-of-pace quarterback. In 2013, Ryan hinted that Geno Smith, then a rookie, could serve in that role prior to Sanchez’s season-ending injury.
Though Smith won the starting job by default, New York still “unofficially ran” 38 wildcat plays last season, utilizing a variety of running backs and wide receivers under center, according to the team’s official website.
There’s talk about bring it back yet again, this time with Vick as Smith’s occasional substitute.
“I understand the ‘wow’ effect, but it’s not a good thing for either quarterback,” said McNabb, who now serves as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports.
“Who cares what Donovan McNabb says about a team he knows nothing about?” WFAN co-host Craig Carton said Wednesday morning.
Vick was brought in during the offseason to mentor Smith in his second season. Despite talk of a quarterback competition, it appears the starting job belongs to the 23-year-old incumbent unless he falls flat on his face in the next three warmup games.
That doesn’t mean Vick won’t see the field. Both players have said the wildcat could have its benefits.
But McNabb, acknowledging he wasn’t pleased when the Eagles subbed him out for Vick in 2009, doesn’t think the Jets’ high-profile insurance policy is well-suited for the role.
“I understand that people know what Mike Vick could do five, six, seven years ago,” he said. “Yeah, Mike has the ability to run and get out of the pocket. But that’s only in the drop-back game when he sees nothing open and makes things happen by picking up yards with his legs. That’s not for Mike to run the option.”
He also doesn’t believe Vick — who has done his part in defusing any controversy — would want to be second fiddle, anyhow.
“Mike wants to be the starter,” McNabb said. “He doesn’t want to go in there to be the Tim Tebow of the 2012 Jets. Nobody wants that.”
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