KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs coach Andy Reid will see a familiar face Sunday when he looks across the field to the opposing sideline.
The New York Jets made the switch from second-year quarterback Geno Smith to veteran signal caller Michael Vick, who played for Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009-12.
But the Jets turning to Vick had nothing to do with his familiarity of Reid or playing against the Chiefs last season, a game where Vick threw for 201 yards and a touchdown against two interceptions. He added 99 yards rushing on four carries.
“My young guy, Geno Smith, started every game since he’s been here,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday during a media conference call. “I just thought maybe it’s time to bring him back a little bit, let him watch from the bench.”
Smith struggled through eight games, completing 131-of-233 passes for 1,370 yards and seven touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He has also been sacked 15 times on the season and lost two fumbles.
On his short career, Smith has completed 378-of-676 (55.9 percent) for 4,416 yards and 19 touchdowns against 31 interceptions with six lost fumbles. He has been sacked 58 times in 24 starts.
Still, Ryan indicated the move to Vick isn’t permanent even with the Jets’ current seven-game losing skid.
“I’m not saying he won’t get another opportunity,” Ryan said of Smith. “It’s just that maybe this will be the best thing for him to sit back a little bit and hopefully he can make a leap forward. Take a step back, make a leap forward and that’s what I’m hoping.”
The Jets’ embattled quarterback may have an understanding opponent on the Chiefs sideline.
Quarterback Alex Smith experienced benching, the most recent in 2012 with the San Francisco 49ers, but has come into his own with Reid.
Now an established NFL starter in his second season in Kansas City, the Chiefs quarterback admitted to the Jets media each situation is different, but offered advice.
“The most valuable thing that I have learned is just focus on what you can control,” Smith told Jets reporters. “That’s really staying ready and being prepared and working to become the best quarterback that you can be. Not focus on any of those other things outside of your control, that’s certainly what helped me the most.”