Vick, Smith vie for role as Jets starting quarterback

The Indianapolis Colts warm up on Thursday before their preseason opener against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

The Indianapolis Colts warm up on Thursday before their preseason opener against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

By Amna Nawaz
Brooklyn, N.Y.

For thousands of Jets fans, Thursday’s 13-10 preseason victory was a welcome start to the season, but the game wasn’t mainly about defeating the Colts. Fans were looking to evaluate the play of the team’s two quarterbacks, Michael Vick and Geno Smith. Both Vick and Smith are competing to be the starter, and after last week’s game, it appears that it’s going to be a close competition.

Vick, age 34, was brought to the Jets in part to serve as a mentor to Smith. Their relationship is not just about competition but also collaboration. “It’s great. It’s a great feeling to have a guy like Mike,” Smith said of his work with Vick. “He is a guy I have always looked up to.”

The Jets hope this collaboration helps the 23-year-old Smith’s maturation process. Smith had an up-and-down rookie year, but there were certainly bright spots: According to the Jets’ website, Smith not only had the most passing yards in a single season for a Jets rookie — registering 3,046 yards — but also had the highest completion rate for a rookie, with 55.8 percent.

In Thursday’s game, Smith finished 4 of 6 for 33 yards. He played two drives — one ended in a punt, while the other led to a field goal.

“I think we did well. We were able to get three points,” Smith said. “We want to score touchdowns, but three points is fine.”

Meanwhile, Vick made several decisions that left fans cheering. He scrambled for 15 yards on one play and also led the Jets on their best drive, which ended with a one-yard touchdown run by new running back Chris Johnson.

Smith undoubtedly has a lot to learn from Vick. Both quarterbacks will have to work hard to bring the best out of the second-year player. “We just have to continue to be cohesive and work as one unit,” Smith said.

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