- Associated Press - Sunday, July 27, 2014

CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) - Michael Vick dropped back, peered down the field and flicked his wrist.

The football zipped through the air about 50 yards and dropped into the arms of a wide receiver running in stride. And it all looked so effortless for the New York Jets quarterback.

“Whoa!” one young fan shouted at a recent training camp practice. “Man, he’s still got it!”

Vick knows it.

Everyone else is starting to see it, too.

Thing is, Vick also believes he can not only be a starter in the NFL, but a star. Right now, he’s in line to back up Geno Smith this season. And, just as he did last year in Philadelphia, he’s doing everything he can to help a young quarterback get better as a high-profile mentor.

“I’m cool with it,” Vick said. “I understood the situation coming in and I knew it was Geno’s job and my job was to push Geno. The thing I’m going to be is, I’m going to be a guy that’s going to be able to help Geno.

“But if this team needs me to play, I’m going to be ready to play.”

Vick is still hungry to be what he once was: one of the league’s most dynamic players. And as far as he’s concerned, no one can tell him any different.

“He can still throw it now, like, wow, can he throw it,” Rex Ryan said. “It’s amazing how God touches people differently and, certainly, he gave this young man so much ability.”

Vick is 34, though, and some see him more as a big-name backup with plenty of experience rather than a potential starter.

Not Vick. Not yet.

“I still feel like I have a lot of football left to play, so I wouldn’t take it that far,” he said. “But, hey, if that’s what it is now and the next couple of years, then, hey, we’ll see.”

There wasn’t much buzz this past offseason when he became a free agent, and Vick chose to sign with a team trying to determine whether Smith can be a franchise quarterback. That’s why, as Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said would happen, Smith is taking 75 percent of the snaps with the first-team offense.

“As the days go on,” Vick said, “I continue to get more comfortable in my role.”

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