The coaches believe they had a breakthrough with Smith at the end of last year when he began to run the ball more and make better decisions with the ball. We’ll see if they’re right.Over the history of their career, they have been able to build great defenses and found some excellent offensive and defensive players, but quarterback has been a bugaboo for this -- along with many other -- franchises. Should Smith struggle in camp, Vick will be there to step in. In the unlikely event that happens, should Smith stumble during the regular season, Vick could be a Band-Aid to get the Jets through a game or the rest of the season.
General manager John Idzik put some targets around Smith that should help in wide receiver Eric Decker, tight end Jace Amaro and running back Chris Johnson.
The pressure on Smith will be much greater this year. If he struggles, there could be massive support — both internally and externally – for Vick to start. Vick was very popular with his Eagles teammates, and you can see the Jets players who grew up wearing Vick’s jerseys rallying around him if Smith stumbles.
The Jets need to find out if Smith is a franchise quarterback or just another in a long line of quarterback failures.
That said, the Jets need to determine if Smith is the right man to head the team for medium and long-term and there's no better way to do that than keep seeing if he can sink or swim. Which is of course the method they are already taking. This offseason the Jets have deepened their entire roster on the offensive side of the ball and that includes the quarterback position.
The hope of course is that Smith is the man for the job, but if he isn't the second round investment they made won't be that hard to move on from should the opportunity arise.