The sense among the offense when Michael Vick entered during the first quarter of Sunday's loss to the Bills was one of relief, said one member of the offense.
Vick replaced the struggling Geno Smith, who threw three interceptions on the team's opening four drives, earning his second benching of the season. The Jets announced Monday Vick would start this weekend in Kansas City.
"When Michael came in, he steadied things. There was sort of this sense that 'I got this' and I think we fed off of that," one player told Metro. "He's been [there], done that in this league and he has our respect. It wasn't that we don't feel that with Geno, but [Vick] has done it all and when he came in, we got that from him in the huddle. I think there was a relief when he came in to be honest with you. "
The player spoke on the condition of anonymity because he didn't want to be seen as bashing Smith.
"Guys still believe in Geno, but he has to sit like any other player who doesn't perform," the player said. "You could tell the difference when Michael came in. The body language was better, the communication was better from him [over Smith]. Those things are important. His head wasn't spinning."
When asked if Smith exhibited those opposite traits of "body language" and "communication" and if his head was spinning, the player offered "no comment, but Geno needs to get better at a lot of things."
On his first series with the Jets, Vick marched the team down the field in 13 plays, covering 76 yards for a touchdown that made the score 14-7. It wasn't a flawless debut. He fumbled four times — two were lost —and he also threw an interception. With time and first-team reps this week, he should be better.
"He sees the field so well and his instincts are really good," the player said. "I'm not saying that Geno doesn't, but he's still young. He's got to get there. Michael hasn't gotten many reps with the 'ones' since [training] camp. Once he does, it will improve for sure."
The player wouldn't respond to a question of if there is a consensus in the locker room behind either Vick or Smith, only saying "it's clear that the right call was made for this week."
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.