EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson heard the Jets fans chanting "We want Vick!" throughout New York's 24-17 loss to the Lions at MetLife Stadium. Geno Smith threw an interception and was charged with two fumbles, and the calls for Vick could be heard clearly on the field.
"Shut up," is Richardson's message to those fans. "If that's the case, produce a child to make it to the NFL. We'll see what he got. Other than that, just shut up."
After the game, Smith was captured by CBS 2's camera cursing at a fan. Ultimately, an already tense postgame as the Jets fell to 1-3 was intensified as players responded to their young quarterback's mistakes.
Richardson said Smith shouldn't have lost his cool.
"It's frustrating," Richardson said. "You trip for him when he throws a touchdown but you were talking about you wanted Vick the whole game. So it happens. You know, he's got to keep his composure no matter how frustrating it gets."
Offensive lineman Willie Colon knows it is extremely hard for a young quarterback to take the rebuke of a few thousand fans, especially when they should be on your side.
"It's New York, they want to win," said Colon, a Bronx native. "I get it. I'm a New Yorker, I'm a NY fan. All they want to do is see their team win and have the best outcome for their hometown team. Listen, we're fighting."
Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson thinks coach Rex Ryan will help put Smith back in the right frame of mind. Ryan has been fined in the past for his own profane interaction with fans.
"Geno was definitely wrong, cursing the fans," Wilkerson said. "I'm pretty sure Rex an,d you know, some other guys will get on him."
If Smith's confidence was waning, Sunday's issues won't make it easier. Ultimately, veteran players are wary of sapping any more confidence.
"Geno has a lot of heart," Colon said. "He stood back there and fought. It's tough for any quarterback in this league when you're going through an up-and-down spurt to look at the sideline [to see if he's being replaced]."
Vick is one of the few Jets who said he didn't hear the chants. He put it in perspective when asked by reporters if he was ready to go in as a starter.
"Twelve-year veteran, I should be ready," Vick said. "I'm only one person, so that doesn't mean I'm going to come in and be the savior and save the game. ... Because you guys will be interviewing the next quarterback asking him if he's ready."