Florham Park, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) – Michael Vick will start at quarterback
for the New York Jets on Sunday in Kansas City, not Geno Smith.
Jets coach Rex Ryan announced his decision Monday, saying Vick gave the team a
“spark” on Sunday after taking over for Smith, who threw three interceptions
in the first 10:20 of the game.
“I felt the energy on the sideline,” Ryan said.
Vick completed just half of his 36 passes for 153 yards and an interception,
also losing two fumbles in a 43-23 stinker against Buffalo that was the team’s
seventh loss in a row.
But Ryan said it was time to give Vick a chance to work with the offensive
starters and have Smith “take a step back for the first time in his career and
get a different perspective on it.”
Smith has been New York’s starting quarterback in all 24 games since he was
drafted in the second round last year out of West Virginia.
“This is not looking long term,” Ryan said of going with the 12-year veteran
Vick. “This is immediate. My focus is on Kansas City and trying to find a way
to get a win. That’s why this decision was made. …
“Right now, the ‘long term’ is this week.”
Smith, 24, has passed for 4,416 yards, 19 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in
two seasons for the Jets (1-7). He has thrown for 1,370 yards, seven scores
and 10 interceptions this season.
Ryan said Smith “took a step back, but there are guys who take a step back and
a lean forward.”
“I hope that happens,” he said. “I don’t think anyone in this organization is
looking at him differently.”