Six NFL preseason games will be played Thursday night, and while they don’t offer a whole lot of storylines collectively, there are still a few worth following.
Most intriguing, perhaps, is the Jets’ quarterback situation. Geno Smith will start against the Colts, and he’s expected to start in Week 1 when the Jets host the Raiders. But what can Michael Vick do to win the starting job? Anything?
“I really don’t think there’s anything Michael Vick can do to win this job,” Bleacher Report NFL insider Jason Cole said on The Morning Show. “It’s all on whether Geno can hold on to it or not. If Geno doesn’t hold the job, then he opens the door for Mike Vick.”
That, however, doesn’t seem likely – and not because Smith is just that good. On the contrary, he was very not good as a rookie last year, when totaled 3,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. True, he did have an impact on the ground, accounting for 366 rushing yards and six scores, but make no mistake: He was no Andrew Luck. Or Russell Wilson. Or Robert Griffin III. Or any other impressive rookie quarterback we’ve seen in recent memory.
Vick, meanwhile, is 34, hasn’t played a full season since 2006 and was more or less awful last year for the Eagles, accounting for seven touchdowns (five pass, two rush) in seven games.
“Barring Michael Vick completing every single pass that he throws in preseason – and even then, the future of the Jets rests on whether Geno is any good or not, or at least the next decision (rests on that),” Cole said. “They have to decide is Geno good enough to be a franchise quarterback, or do they have to move on to the next guy? Because we know Michael Vick is not going to be their franchise quarterback.”
Moving to the NFC, Brandon Weeden – and not Tony Romo – will start for the Cowboys when they face the Chargers in San Diego on Thursday. The fact that Romo is still recovering from back surgery is not a good sign for Dallas heading into this season. In fact, Cole believes that Cowboys fans should be very, very worried.
“I don’t think (Romo is) strong enough to do the things with his back that he needs to do to be able to play,” Cole said. “He’s not going to play in this game. I don’t think he’s going to play in the second game (against Baltimore on Aug. 16), he might get a quarter or two in the third preseason game (at Miami on Aug. 23), and they’re just crossing they’re fingers that he’s going to be okay in the opener.”
Dallas opens the regular season at home against San Francisco on Sept. 7. Say what you will about Romo’s play in the clutch; the fact remains that he’s one of the most prolific quarterbacks in football. Romo threw 31 touchdowns in 15 games last year. Weeden, in his career, has eight fewer touchdowns (23) in eight more games (23).
And this year, that’s not gong to cut it for the Cowboys.
“Everything that they do to be competitive this year depends on that offense – because their defense, it’s atrocious,” Cole said. “They have nothing in the front seven that scares you. They got a couple of cornerbacks who are okay, but that’s it on defense.”