This will do little to quell a potential quarterback controversy in one of the NFL’s biggest markets, but that is the last thing that New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan is worried about.
It was announced earlier this week that second year QB Geno Smith would be the starter for the team’s opening preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. That does not mean that Smith will be the only one to play with the starting offensive unit, however, as Ryan plans to have Vick work with that unit as well.
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com writes the following about the situation in New York, noting in no uncertain terms the fact that this could be the beginning of an inevitable quarterback controversy:
As much as the Jets want Smith to be their opening-day starter, they’re hedging their bet by giving Vick a run with the first unit. It’s a smart move, especially since he’s had very little time with the starters in practice. Smith can make this real easy on everyone by playing well. If he struggles … then it gets interesting.
Smith showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, certainly enough for the Jets to think he is ready to be the guy. On the other hand, he also showed plenty of reasons for them to be concerned, leaving the organization in something of a tough spot.
They obviously want to show confidence in their guy while also, as Cimini put it, hedging their bets. This may or may not be the way to handle that situation, but they will start by giving some of the starting team reps to Vick on Thursday.