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Michael Vick praises Geno Smith's maturity

Jets quarterback Michael Vick acknowledges the crowd after

Jets quarterback Michael Vick acknowledges the crowd after a game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

To this day, Michael Vick still amazes himself.

"I used to do things that used to freak myself out,'' the Jets backup quarterback said Tuesday during his highly anticipated interview with WFAN host Mike Francesa.

"I still go back and watch my highlights myself. I watch them over and over again because I lived it, but when I was living it -- I was there, but I wasn't there. It's crazy to say, but I can't describe it.''

But for all that God-given talent, Vick wishes that years ago he had Geno Smith's level of maturity. "Geno is a great kid. He's like my little brother,'' Vick, 34, said of Smith, in his second year as the Jets' starter.

"He's a lot wiser than his age. He has a great sense of humor. . . . He walks around with the football in his hand a lot. He eats, sleeps and breathes football. I wish I could've been that way when I was 22 years old, when I was 24 years old.''

Vick praised Smith's performance against the Raiders, noting that the soon-to-be 24-year-old played "with grit'' and "put the team on his back when he needed to'' in the Jets' 19-14 win. But he also said there's room for improvement in Smith's game.

"I think he has all the intangibles to be great,'' Vick said. "It takes a lot of hard work, and that's what we always stress. It's not going to happen overnight. It's not going to happen in one game. It's going to happen throughout the course of your career.''

Vick, the No. 1 overall pick of the Falcons in 2001, knows a thing or two about talent. He still has explosiveness, still possesses rare mobility and still can throw the football. But what hasn't come easily is staying mentally and physically ready to play at a moment's notice.

Although he reiterated he's "comfortable'' in his role with the Jets, Vick said, "In my heart and in my mind, I'm still a starter. Do I always want to be in this role? No. But if that's what it calls for, I've got to make the most of it.''

Vick was featured on a few read-option plays Sunday, but he expects packages designed specifically for him to be "few and far between."

"Hopefully, I'll get to go in there a couple more times this week. You never know,'' he said. "If not, I won't be upset. I just want to win at the end of the day.''

Does he think Smith is worried that a talented quarterback like Vick is waiting in the wings?

"I don't pose any threat,'' Vick said. "I'm here to do a job that I love to do and was brought in here for -- and that's to help this team win football games if I have to, if called upon.

"The one thing every QB has to always get used to or be prepared for is a good backup behind you. I don't think it bothers him at all. I think he's up for the challenge and I think he only worries about what he's got to go out and do.''

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