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Posted 23 Aug 2014Michael Vick can't win.
He entered the offseason determined to land a starting job, only to be told by the New York Jets that their quarterback competition was rigged in Geno Smith's favor.
Vick came to grips with his role over the summer, fading into the background while offering unwavering support for Smith as the face of the Jets' offense.
Smith has always been viewed as general manager John Idzik's guy whereas some members of the coaching staff had visions of Vick running the offense.
In fact, some Jets coaches have "privately expressed disappointment that Vick didn't show up more hell-bent on winning the starting job," according to TheMMQB.com's Jenny Vrentas. At the very least, they wanted Vick to make the decision tough for coach Rex Ryan, adds Vrentas.
That's interesting logic.
The coaching staff set Vick up for failure. Now they're holding it against him that he's accepting of his role as Smith's mentor and caddy.
"The last five years I spent in Philly, I had some great years and played in some great games and went through a lot," Vick explained. "Now it's an opportunity for me to refresh myself and take a step back away from the game."
Make no mistake, Vick wants to start. But he also understands that's not going to happen unless Smith falls flat on his face.
"I'm kind of relishing the moment that I'm in right now," Vick added. "I am not required to have to do a lot. Preserving my body right now is very important to me, and making sure I can make a strong push late in my career in case I am needed."
Vick has adopted the ideal attitude for a veteran backup, ready to shed the visor and clipboard at a moment's notice. If the Jets coaches wanted a more cutthroat Vick, they should should have opened the competition.
UPDATE: After the Jets' loss to the Giants on Friday night, Vick refuted TheMMQB.com report, saying "That is not true at all. ... So whoever wrote that story, it was on the side of being very fictitious and you have to come up with better stories than that."
Posted 22 Aug 2014After the third preseason game in 2013, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan was left with one injured veteran quarterback, and one slumping rookie quarterback. This year is a lot simpler.
Ryan announced Friday that Geno Smith would be the team's Week 1 starter, making official what had long become obvious. Smith was solid Friday in a loss to the New York Giants, playing mistake-free football. Michael Vick also played well in limited action, but he never truly had a chance in the competition.
"(Geno) has done everything that we have asked," Ryan said. "And again this is no slight to Mike Vick. Because believe me like I said, I wanted to come out of this knowing that we have two really good quarterbacks and we think we can win games
"That is not true. That is not true at all. Me and my coaches have great conversations. We have open dialogue and that was far from the case. So whoever wrote that story, it was on the side of being very fictitious and you have to come up with with. And in my heart I feel that we have two that we can win with."
Jets coaches have reportedly been disappointed by Vick accepting his fate as a backup, a notion that clearly upset Vick.
better stories than that," Vick said.
The Vick quotes are a small bump in a refreshingly quiet Jets preseason. Smith didn't do anything to lose the starting job, and Vick didn't particularly do anything to make the Jets re-think their faith in their second-year starter. Now it's just up to Geno to prove a lot of people wrong.
Posted 10 Aug 2014The New York Jets' cornerback concerns have resurfaced after a pair of injuries sustained in Sunday's practice.
Dee Milliner had to be helped off the field after clutching his ankle in obvious pain.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that the Jets believe Milliner suffered a high-ankle sprain and will be out a few weeks, per source informed of the player's situation.
The Jets weren't so fortunate with Dexter McDougle.
After the third-round rookie was forced from practice with "sharp pain" in his knee, the team confirmed that he suffered a torn ACL.
Veteran Dimitri Patterson missed practice with calf and ankle issues, which means three of the team's top four cornerbacks are injured.
Milliner was having an excellent camp, per ESPN.com's Rich Cimini. Teammates have been predicting a breakout season for the 2013 first-round draft pick.
Ryan has to be hoping that Milliner's injury isn't serious, as the Jets defense relies on strong press-man corners to operate on all cylinders.
Posted 27 Jul 2014Dee Milliner's confidence evidently was not shaken by his inconsistent rookie season with the New York Jets.
Milliner, who will enter his second NFL season as the Jets' top cornerback, told the New York Daily News that he believes he is the league's best player at the position.
"The best corner in the league? Me," Milliner told the Daily News in an interview Saturday. "I ain't gonna say that somebody else is better than me."
A first-round draft pick who was benched multiple times last season, Milliner made positive strides down the stretch in 2013. He clearly feels that his late-season surge will carry over into 2014.
"I'm not going to say somebody that plays the same position is better than me," Milliner said. "Don't care if they've been in the league 10 years and I've been here five months. That's how it's going to go.
"I'm the best. I'm not going to say that another man that plays the same position ... and say he's better than me? I can't do that."
Milliner's lofty aspirations also include an eventual place in the Hall of Fame.
"I want to be great," he said. "That's the difference between the players that are in the Hall of Fame and not in the Hall of Fame. ... You want to do great things. That's what I want to do."
Milliner figures to be tested early and often in his second year, as the Jets will have to contend with some of the NFL's top wide receivers over the first two months of the season, including Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall and Jordy Nelson.
But Milliner claimed that he is "not worried" about any expectations placed on him.
"They say the pressure is on, but I ain't worried about it," Milliner said. "I'm not worried about pressure. I go out there and do what I'm coached to do."
Last December, Milliner was selected as the NFL's defensive rookie of the month after getting 27 tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He was also the AFC's defensive player of the week after intercepting two passes in the season finale at Miami.
"I love the way he ended, but there's guys that never get on a field and nobody talks about them," Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters Saturday. "Did he go through growing pains? Absolutely, but he was in the fire.
"So, right now, it's nothing to him. He's out there, let's go. And his teammates, believe me, they're definitely confident in Dee Milliner."
Posted 22 May 2014Chris Johnson will take his time before making an on-field debut with the New York Jets.
The veteran running back -- who signed with the Jets in April -- told reporters Thursday that his surgically repaired knee feels good, but he'll probably sit out organized team activities, according to ESPNNewYork.com.
"I think they‚re gonna hold me out of OTAs and just let me continue to rehab until I get 100 percent," Johnson said. "Take it slow, since I have time on my side, and just be ready for (training) camp."
Johnson suffered a meniscus tear in his knee in Week 3 last season with the Tennessee Titans. He played through the injury, finishing with a career-low 3.9 yards per carry. He underwent surgery after the season.
With more than 2,000 touches on his odometer and his 29th birthday approaching, the Jets are going to take a very cautious approach with Johnson this summer. Once he does get to full speed, expect Johnson to be on the winning end of a time-share with Chris Ivory.
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