The New York Jets have a bit of a quarterback conundrum, but it's at least a pretty good one. Geno Smith, the incumbent, will be challenged by veteran Michael Vick in training camp, and it's currently anybody's guess as to who will win the job for Week 1.
Vick is the better option for the Jets, given his playmaking ability at this stage in the offseason, but NFL analyst Dan Hanzus tweets that he has heard that Smith has the advantage as of now:
It sure sounds ike Geno Smith will open camp as the favorite to be Jets starter. Mornhinweg talking QB up with reporters.— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) April 29, 2014
How that has already been hinted at is beyond me. Smith is the future of the franchise at quarterback (at least, for now), but Vick presents the team with a far better opportunity to win.
Gang Green did a very good job this offseason of addressing needs on the offensive side of the ball. Bringing in Eric Decker was a huge first step in the right direction, and signing Chris Johnson to be the primary contributor out of the backfield was also a great idea.
Decker is successful over the top of defenses, and that's an area where Vick happens to excel. Smith showed a tendency last season to both over and underthrow his deep targets. If the Jets want to improve, they'll need more consistency in the vertical passing game.
Vick also has a history of success checking down to his running backs. He and Warrick Dunn found success doing so while he was with the Atlanta Falcons, and more recently, LeSean McCoy benefited from having Vick under center.
McCoy is also of the belief that Vick should start, and he doesn't think the competition is close:
The All-Pro running back told Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that "[Vick] is going to be the starting quarterback this year. He's way better than Geno Smith. Way better. That's no contest."
Aside from the aforementioned advantages, ESPN points out that Vick is very familiar with the system he and Smith will be playing in:
Smith said last week during the Jets' offseason program that he is confident he'll remain the starter.
Vick, however, has four years of background in offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's offense thanks to their time together with the Eagles, which could give him an edge in the competition.
It wouldn't be wise for the Jets to start Smith over Vick, especially if Vick outperforms the youngster in training camp and the preseason. While Smith is a mobile quarterback, Vick offers so much more in terms of playmaking ability.
Who should start in 2014?
Even if receivers aren't open, he can work around in the pocket to find running lanes. He'll be able to keep the chains moving by himself.
The future of this offense is bright. The No. 18 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft will likely yield them a wide receiver like LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. or a tight end like UNC's Eric Ebron. Adding that target to the mix will help either quarterback succeed, but Vick is the most ready to take advantage of his new weapons.
Smith never sat behind a veteran to learn his craft. Now he has a chance to next season. Head coach Rex Ryan would be wise to make that happen.