Greetings all, this is my first ever Fanpost. Hope you find it interesting and worth the read. First off, to get it out of the way, I am in no rush for the Jets to name their week 1 starting quarterback. There’s no reason to do so until at least after a preseason game, or probably two, are played.
For the most part, I have ignored the media’s crusade to drum up controversy when it comes to the Jets naming their starting quarterback -- and I think most rational fans see the QB situation similarly to that of myself. We want Geno to earn the job, win the job, keep the job, flourish at the job, and keep it for many years and be our franchise quarterback. So yes, I tend to agree with many people who say "the tie goes to Geno" or "unless Vick outplays Geno in preseason by a ton, it’s Geno’s job."
But for a moment, indulge me in the idea of what the 2014 Jets could be with Michael Vick as the full time starting quarterback. Yes, I realize it’s basically unreasonable to think it’s even possible for Vick to get through 16 games healthy, but as long as he’s on the field, it’s also possible he could straight-up be consistently great for the Jets.
Lets talk from an individual standpoint. First, there’s some intangibles to consider with Vick -- that's the post-prison Vick. I'd say from afar and from everything we've heard and read about him, he’s been an amazing teammate, a leader, and has matured as a person so much within the last few years. Go watch a circa 2004 interview with Vick, and then a recent one. It’s like the guy is a completely different person.
I’m not in the locker room or film room with the team, but in addition to the intangibles mentioned above, it seems as if his football intelligence and football maturity, so to speak, has also been on the ascent in the last few years.
Besides the intangibles, just look at Michael Vick’s statistics with the Eagles compared to with the Falcons. Generally his QB rating has been up, and so has his accuracy. We generally think of Vick as turnover prone, but compared to what the Jets have had at QB the last 5 years, suddenly Vick’s 85 INT in 128 career games doesn’t seem so bad. There’s fumbles too, yes, but at the same time there’s also almost 6000 career rushing yards and nearly 40 rushing touchdowns from the guy as well.
Anyway, perhaps it’s somewhat ironic, but fans (and coaches too) have encouraged Geno to "run more," but with Vick, we’d probably want him to "run less," if he ends up being our guy. And ya know what -- I think his experience would help him to run less.
In terms of the offense around the QB, be it Geno or Vick at the helm, I can’t wait to see Decker/Kerley/Amaro/Cumberland/Saunders/Evans/CJ/Ivory/Hill/Nelson do work. Not everyone will work out or play 16 healthy games, but odds are we’re gonna have better weaponry in 2014. (Hopefully the O-line will hold up).
But what about the defense? Casually glancing at some statistics over the last decade or so, it doesn’t appear that Vick has ever played with a great defense, let alone a dominant one. Be it his Eagles teams or Falcons teams, it doesn’t appear Vick ever played with a defense that was ever much better than middle-of-the-pack in total yards or PPG. (Feel free to reply/expand on this with more advanced stats, metrics, etc).
But imagine what the 2010, or 2009 Jets team (with great defenses) could or would have been with Michael Vick at QB. Super Bowl champions for sure I won’t say, but certainly they would have been even better, and a more complete team.
Will the 2014 Jets defense be closer to the ‘09 or ‘10 teams? We’ll find out. Sure, there’s no Revis around anymore, but those teams did not have this team’s D-line, the Sons of Anarchy. I think we’re all expecting the 2014 Jets defense to be top 10 against the run, and hoping to at least be middle of the pack vs. the pass. Maybe it’s not the best prediction, but it’s a reasonable hope that the 2014 Jets can be Top 5 vs. the run, and with the addition of Calvin Pryor, an ascending Milliner, and plenty of good competition at other DB positions, the Jets could become top 10 vs. the pass too. And let us not downplay the impact a great pass rush can have on a team's stats defending the pass, because that helps too.
If the 2014 Jets defense can actually be top 5 vs. the run, top 10 vs. the pass, imagine what a more mature, accurate, Michael Vick could do reunited with Marty Mornhinweg. I’ve described the ideal 2014 defense, which would easily be the best defense Vick has ever played with -- but so would probably a top 10 vs. the run and top 15 vs. the pass team, which for skeptics, I would say is a little bit more of a reasonable hope or expectation for the 2014 Jets' defense.
Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that if Geno’s the guy, I’ll be hopeful and cautiously optimistic for the future and beyond.....but if Vick’s the guy, I’ll be 100% excited for 2014 because just look at his body of work, and particularly his recent body of work, and imagine what that type of QB could do for a team with the type of defense the 2014 Jets might just be capable of playing. I think it's VERY possible the 2014 Jets will have the best defense a Michael Vick team has ever had.