With just one preseason game in the books, Michael Vick is putting pressure on Geno Smith for the New York Jets' starting Quarterback job.
Vick has been one of Smith's biggest supporters, but neither man would be there if they were not competitors, and both understand that earning the starting job is about putting points on the board.
"He's going to be great," Vick told ESPN last Tuesday after practice. "He's going to be 10 times better than where he was last year, and I'm looking forward to it."
After the Tim Tebow experiment, and the Jet's poor handling of that situation, they especially don't want another quarterback controversy. There is little doubt that General Manager John Idzik appreciates Vicks' words, even though it's the 34 year-old's play that is making the decision tough.
If you have ever watched Vick play, you know he brings a certain brand of excitement that only he can deliver. Even though he has been in the league a while, he still has tremendous footwork and almost unparalleled speed, and most importantly, he led the Jets' only touchdown drive in last Thursday night's 13-10 win over the Colts in the preseason opener for both teams at MetLife Stadium.
Vick completed 3 of 6 passes for 17 yards after entering early in the second quarter. He also ran 3 times for 19 yards, including a 15-yard scramble during the 80-yard drive.
"You can have them all covered up, but you'd better account for the quarterback,'' Rex Ryan said. "And when a quarterback can run for first downs -- and you saw Geno do it a couple times, and obviously with Mike -- it puts a huge, huge stress on the defense.''
There is no doubt Geno is a great football player, but then again so was Mark Sanchez.
But, can Smith rise to the occasion and get it done in the NFL when his team needs him the most? Sanchez, no matter how talented, never could make it happen consistently.
Coach Rex Ryan has made it clear that is what matters most to him, too.
"I want to see some production," he said. "I think we'll see it. I know [Smith] will have the command. Let's have the production, too."
Ryan has also said that neither player has a distinct edge right now, but Smith has taken about 80 percent of the first team snaps so far in practice. That, however, may be more representative of wishful thinking on the Jet's part, and not so much about which QB can get the ball in the endzone.
If one player is about wishes, and the other about touchdowns, which would you pick to lead your team?
Vick has a great shot at starting the season for the Jets, if the preseason continues to go this way.