After the hype of trades, free agency, and the NFL Draft the reality of summer camp, pre-season and the security of your position becomes more prevalent.  Not that these factors ever leave the minds of the players – particularly those fighting for position – but it’s sometimes drowned by the noise of the media, naysayers, fans, supporters, critics, coaches, and even team mates.

It’s when seasoned players like Michael Vick begin to analysis their current situation and deal with the reality of his next step(s). Although grateful to have a place with a increasingly respected team – thanks to the help of Rex Ryan – I’m certain this 13 year pro would like to put a stamp on a starting position; however, such may not be the case.

From Marshall’s trade to the Bears potentially being a ‘career saving’ move; to the toss-up of starters in Oakland and the comparison of Corners Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson there will ALWAYS be speculation, “expert opinions”.  As quite as it’s kept, I believe do have some influence over how we the bloggers, media, fans, and self-proclaimed football mavens perceive our favorite players’, favorite players. Although numbers “don’t lie”, are they the deciding factor for who gets the starting positions from Oakland to NY? Let’s look at some data:

GENO SMITH – 2013 2ⁿᵈ round (7ᵗʰ pick) by the New York Jets

Height: 6-3

Weight: 221

Born: October 10, 1990

 Yds: 3046 | Y/G: 190.4 | TD: 12 | QBRating: 66.5
MICHAEL VICK – 2001 1ˢᵗ round (1ˢᵗ pick) by the Atlanta Falcons

6’0Height: 6’0

Height: 6’0
Weight: 215
Born: June 26, 1980
So, at the point Mike Vick was beginning his professional football career, Geno Smith was an 11 year-old kid with a dream, probably watching the older Vick being drafted first in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons at Radio City Music Hall.  Not sure if these comparable are balanced seeing that Vick missed much of the year due to injury and eventually being booted out of his starting position by a flourishing Foles.  Nonetheless, the numbers give Vick a much higher QB rating at 86.5% with Geno coming in at 66.% – exactly 20 percentage points lower than Vick. But what does that say about the starting position? The yards completed, TD percentages, weight, height, age, and mobility.
I believe it depends on who produces and the need of the team.  If Geno proves he is the better QB option for the NYJ, then he is who starts. Should Vick show forth an exceptionally better effort during camps then perhaps he’s considered the one to take the first snap of the season.  The younger Geno is fairly mobile in the pocket something we all have come to love and sometimes hate about Vick. Smith also have an arm with the ability to get the ball down the field to an open receiver. But what cannot be denied is with age comes wisdom…and experience.  Something Vick has; we watched him grow as a player and yes a leader.
When it’s all said and done, the players themselves must prove they want the spot, can handle the spot, and make the players around them better resulting in a winning franchise.  The talent is there no doubt, but we must grow from potential to reality in a short period of time. In Mike Vick’s words: