The jury still may be out on Geno Smith, but there's one Jet who has no doubts about the presumptive starting quarterback.
And that's Michael Vick.
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The 34-year-old has made no secret he still has the desire -- and the ability -- to lead a team. But to his credit, Vick has been publicly supportive of Smith and said he believes he will be markedly better in his second year.
"Geno's working extremely hard to be the best quarterback that he can be in this game," Vick said Tuesday. "You see guys around the league, around his age, going out having success and doing some good things for their ballclubs, and I think he wants to fall right into that echelon. It takes a lot of hard work, a 'one game at a time' approach, and everything has to be done according to how it feels like it needs to be done.
"He's going to be great. He's going to be 10 times better than where he was last year, and I'm looking forward to it."
Jets fans hope Vick is right.
The Jets' weekly pattern in 2013 mirrored Smith's erratic play. They alternated wins and losses through the first nine weeks, tying the 2005 Patriots for the longest such streak to begin a season, according to STATS. Although Smith had a 55.8 completion rate and 66.5 quarterback rating for the season, his rating was 83.6 for the final four games, when the Jets were 3-1.
Everyone will be curious to see which Smith shows up tonight at MetLife Stadium -- the turnover-prone version or the savvy 23-year-old who has shown he can take over a game when needed. Regardless of how Smith fares against the Colts in the preseason opener, Vick said it's far too soon to make any judgments about the state of the Jets' offense.
"We need time, but that's what the preseason is for," he said. "The [starters] are going to get a lot of work. The [backups] are going to get some work as well. We'll kind of see how it goes. We can't really base our offensive talents or what we are as a group off of one game. I think we need multiple games and we'll see how it goes."
From now until the end of the season, Vick is determined to challenge Smith every step of the way.
"Absolutely," the former Eagle said. "It's going to be every day until my last day here. So we're going to continue to push one another, continue to try to get better and help this team win football games."