Michael Vick is headed to New York, and his former teammate in Philadelphia thinks Vick has the inside track for the starting job.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, speaking at a team charity event, said Vick "is going to be the starting quarterback this year. He's way better than Geno Smith. Way better. That's no contest." (Of note: McCoy did not say the same thing about Mark Sanchez's prospects for displacing Nick Foles in Philly.)
The question for Vick, who signed a one-year, $5 million deal with New York, is whether he can stay healthy. "That's the big question, and that's the only thing," McCoy said, according to the New York Post. "The thing here was, he didn't lose his job [because he got beat out]. He just got hurt and lost his job to injury. But as far as who's the better quarterback, he's way better than Geno Smith. That's obvious."
On a broader level, McCoy believes Vick will serve as a mentor and a calming locker room influence. "He'll definitely be a leader in the locker room," McCoy said. "Who smoothed over a lot of that Riley Cooper incident? Mike Vick, a great player who's been through some negative moments and is now positive about it. He's a great [veteran], and he’ll help the team out in that way.”
But could Vick start? "I would say yes," Jets coach Rex Ryan said in March. "Anybody. We want that competition. We'll let it all play out." That's an interesting perspective given that Smith is supposed to be the future, but Ryan's on the thinnest of ice, so he'll do whatever he needs to win right now.
"You see all that athleticism he has," Ryan said of Vick. "He can still run, moves well in the pocket, he's more accurate when throwing from the pocket than he used to be when he came into the league. He's got a big arm and can still run, so very dangerous."
Hey, if nothing else, this story gives us the room to run, for perhaps the final time, this Vick-LeSean-DeSean cartoon from last season. Stay tuned for the surprise cameo at the end!