*In a desperate move to save his season, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan hopes to stop a seven-game losing streak by benching the struggling Geno Smith at quarterback in favor of 34-year-old backup Michael Vick.
Ryan announced Monday that Vick will start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs and his former Philadelphia Eagles coach, Andy Reid.
Ryan pulled Smith from Sunday’s 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills after three interceptions in the first quarter. He finished with a 0.0 passer rating.
Ryan refused to say if the move is permanent, claiming he’s concerned only about this week.
“This is not looking long term, this is about the immediate,” Ryan said. “My focus is on Kansas City and finding a way to get a win. That’s why this decision was made.”
It was the second time in four weeks that Smith was benched in a game, but this marks the first time in his career he won’t start. He was named the starter as a rookie and has compiled a 9-15 record, with 31 interceptions.
Smith, who was informed of the decision by Ryan after Monday’s team meeting, said of his initial reaction, “There was none. I just went on with my day.”
Later, he admitted to being frustrated and disappointed, but says he will support Vick, whom he considers a mentor.