Veteran QB Says Jets Ending Playoff Drought Is The Only Thing That Matters

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Vick has done everything asked of him and some things people don’t really know about in his role as mentor to Geno Smith.

When the Jets signed the 11-year veteran during the offseason, they did so under the guise of competition, but pretty much made it clear from the start that the starting quarterback job would be Smith’s to lose.

And so far, Smith hasn’t disappointed. The second-year signal-caller out of West Virginia has shown a maturity and a fierce knowledge of the playbook through two preseason games. Gone appear to be the days of happy feet and forced throws. And with the Jets having added some offensive weapons during the offseason, Smith appears ready to take the next step in his development.

Vick said Smith really has no choice to do anything but make his sophomore season in the NFL memorable. The powers that be won’t as understanding as they were during his rookie campaign.

“There wasn’t patience with me,” Vick said told the Daily News earlier this week. “There wasn’t patience with Brett Favre. I’ve seen Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco go in there as rookies. Ben Roethlisberger. They had to get it done and they got it done. There’s really no patience, just being honest. … We got to win and we got to win now.”

Vick has shied away from discussing the competition, even in the face of constant badgering by the media. He’s also allowed Smith to enjoy the spotlight. During a visit to Florham Park by WFAN’s Boomer & Carton earlier this week Vick politely turned down interview requests out of respect for Smith.

Vick told the Daily News he will continue to support Smith every way possible, but said he’s ready to step in if needed, adding the bottom line is the Jets are under a lot of pressure to end their streak of three straight seasons without a playoff berth.

“At this point, everybody’s required to do everything the same way,” Vick told the newspaper. “Geno has taken that step in the right direction. I think he’s ready to lead this team. But there’s been a lot of quarterbacks that started as rookies and started young. There’s really no other way but to go out and win. Regardless of the year the player is in, you got to go out and get it done.”

Vick was expected to play during the second half on Friday night against the Giants. He’d then likely get the majority of the snaps during the Jets’ final preseason game next week, against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

But come Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders at home, Vick will have a watchful eye on his pupil.

With years of experience at the ready and his helmet only a few feet away.

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