In other Black quarterback news, Michael Vick has been relieved of his starting duties with the New York Jets in favor of Geno Smith. The real news is that Vick’s days as a consistently productive NFL QB appear to be done.
Face it: If he cannot hold the position over Geno Smith, who has has his moments but has been mostly deplorable in his 1 1/2 years in the league, then Vick cannot beat out anyone else. Which means perhaps he should let this season be his last, and depart with some dignity. Last thing he needs is another year or two subbing for injured quarterbacks or wearing a cap and holding a clipboard while feigning to be interested.
And if he cannot beat out Smith, after having had a fair chance to do so, why would another team consider Vick a viable option?
His aforementioned dignity, by the way, was regained in how humbly and remorsefully he comported himself after the dog-fighting scandal that landed him in prison. He could have been outwardly angry for the over-the-top punishment he received. He could have been surly. He could have been shut down.
Instead, he became an advocate for animal safety and opened up about his demons and his flaws and worked on them. On the field with the Philadelphia Eagles, he at times was brilliant. He earned a second $100-million contract, the ultimate mark of his ascension.
But he’s played 12 years, taken some vicious hits and just no longer has the sharpness in his reads or bounce in his step. His accuracy always was an issue, and it has not gotten better. Last week, the Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills 38-3. Vick threw for 79 yards. Enough said.
When Jets coach Rex Ryan deems Smith as a stronger alternative, well, enough said.
“The main factor is you want to give your guys a chance to win the game,” Ryan said. “That’s the No. 1 factor you look into. But that’s what we did. We feel good. . . As an organization, all of our decisions are organizational driven. We just want to get Geno another opportunity to show what he can do. Obviously we like the way he finished last season. We’ve had some bumps in the road this year. We sat him down for a few weeks and we’ll see how he responds.”
At the same time, the Jets sit down Vick, perhaps for the last time. If so, he had a memorable career. Some flashes of spectacular early with the Falcons, and less frequent flashes along the way–with a prison stint in between.
If this does mark the end for Vick, he can be proud that he stayed around for a dozen seasons, even if they were not what he or anyone projected them to be when he joined the NFL.
Vick went 1-2 as the starter. He played turnover-free football in his first two starts, steadying the offense with his veteran leadership. But he was terrible on Monday night, completing only 7 of 19 passes for 76 yards and an interception. Smith replaced him in the third quarter. QB rating of 22.2. Not good.