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Vick: No competition, Smith Jets' starter

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 22 2014 01:37:21 PM CDT
Updated On: May 22 2014 01:38:55 PM CDT
Michael Vick

Tim Shaffer/Reuters

Geno Smith is the presumed starting quarterback for the New York Jets, at least that's the read of 33-year-old Michael Vick, who joined the team on a one-year, $5 million deal in March.

Vick said Thursday that the competition with the Jets is unlike the setup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Last offseason, Vick and Nick Foles waged a competition for the starting job that went to Vick before he was injured and never reclaimed the spot. When Foles led the NFL in passer efficiency with 27 touchdowns and two interceptions, Vick wasn't re-signed.

"Going through the competition with Nick, we knew both of us coming in that it was open competition and the best guy was going to win the job," Vick said. "Pretty much cut and dry. This situation is different. It's kind of unique. Even though it's not an open competition, we're both competing every day."

Vick did not say he has been told Smith is the starter by head coach Rex Ryan or offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, but he is reading between the lines. If both quarterbacks play well, Vick expects the Jets will go with their second-year project.

"Yeah I would assume that Geno would be the starter," he said of that scenario.

Smith, 23, said Thursday he is more comfortable in the offense, which is becoming natural recall as compared to his sharp learning curve in 2013.

Vick said last season in Philadelphia was a learning experience. He became close friends and a mentor for Foles, who calls Vick one of his greatest allies. That doesn't mean Vick is eager to fade into the background.

"It's still tough right now, I won't lie," Vick said. "Deep down you always want to be a starter. Hopefully that opportunity will come again one day and I've just got to keep working for it."

Vick changed places with Mark Sanchez, who was injured in the 2013 preseason and sat out the entire season. Because of a cumbersome contract, Sanchez, who had knee and shoulder surgery, was released and signed with the Eagles to back up Foles.

Smith's play was largely uneven as a rookie. He was sacked once every 10.3 pass attempts, had 24 turnovers (three fumbles) and 12 touchdown passes with a 55.8 completion percentage.