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Michael Vick embracing mentorship role

CORTLAND, NY -- With all the verbal smoke and mirrors about starters and backups, one quarterback who is absolutely clear on his role is Michael Vick. The former Philadelphia Eagles starter has looked good in camp playing mainly with the second team offense, and knows he’s in Cortland to be more of a mentor than a starter -- for the first time in his career.

“Yeah, and I embrace it, I like it,” Vick said. “It’s cool and at the same time I get to better myself and my practices, I come in and I challenge myself to take advantage of every rep and be the best that I can be. Every practice, and that’s the fun part about it so I’ve got two roles but it’s easy. It’s football it’s a game I love.

Geno Smith said Vick’s first attempt at a mentoring role has gone well.

“[He’s done a] great job,” Smith said. “It’s not one of those things where he’s trying to implement anything that I need to change or anything. Rather, just helping me with life lessons and learning from some of the things that he’s done. He’s been in this league 11 years. He’s had his ups and downs. Everyone knows that quarterbacks, you’re going to have a ton of those -- ups and downs, ups and downs. You’ve just got to stay levelheaded. That’s the main thing that he talks about.”

Vick seems to be having fun, rooming with running back Chris Johnson, who he describes as one of the funniest people he’s ever met. But it’s different from the days when he was the clear leader of the offense.

“I’m cool with it,” Vick said. “I understood the situation coming in, and I know 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 who’s going to help Geno. But it this team needs me to play, I’m going to be ready to play.”

Given the way the reps have been distributed, Vick hasn’t had an much time to work with players like Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley yet. Instead, Vick’s balls get sent to rookie Jace Amaro and Jacoby Ford.

“When I have an opportunity to go with those guys I try to make the most of it,” Vick said. “It’s very rare. I try to let Geno get as many reps as he can with those guys because he’s going to be out there with them the majority of the time.”

Vick isn’t quite to say that he’s ready to be the next Mark Brunell-type of quarterback -- a late-career guy who rarely takes the field but helps develop the young starter.

“I wouldn’t say that, I have a lot of football left to play so I wouldn’t take it that far,” Vick said. “But if that’s what it is now and the next couple years we’ll see. But I know I just want to cont to play good football.”