CORTLAND, N.Y. - The Jets might want to consider wheeling a special scoreboard out to the practice field here at training camp to help fans keep track of what is going on with the first team. There's been a lot of counting going on in the stands and on the sidelines as everyone tries to handicap the Jets' quarterback race by tabulating the reps by Michael Vick and Geno Smith.
For the record, Smith took 13 snaps with the first team on Friday and Vick took five. Also for the record, Jets general manager John Idzik insists that this doesn't really matter, that the team is not going out of its way to favor Smith in the competition to become the starter.
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"I don't think it's tilted at all," Idzik said in his first meeting with reporters at training camp.
Idzik has refused to say that it is Smith's job to lose, even though Vick and several of Smith's teammates have come out and said they believe that Smith will be the starter.
"Competition is not just about quantifying reps," Idzik said. "Even reps can ebb and flow . . . Let's just let this thing transpire. Let's see what happens.
"There could be a little fluctuation in the reps. Going into camp, we're giving the lion's share to Geno and we'll see how he responds. So far, he has responded very well. Vick is an experienced veteran. That plays into it as well."
In other words, Smith is getting more reps because he needs more reps. Vick is a 12-year veteran who knows Marty Mornhinweg's offense. Smith is coming off an undistinguished rookie season save for going 3-1 in his final four games. The Jets -- who pretty much know what they are getting with Vick -- need Smith to have more time in the offense in order to make a judgment on his development.
Mornhinweg headed into camp saying that Smith would get between 70 and 75 percent of the snaps with the first team and that has pretty much held true. On Thursday, Smith took 13 reps while Vick took four.
Over the past two days, Smith has 26 reps with the first team and Vick has nine. Overall, Smith is 15-for-20 passing with two sacks and one interception. Vick is 10-for-15 with two sacks and one interception.
What does this all mean? Jets coach Rex Ryan toed the same party line as Idzik, adding that he wasn't going to set a timetable for naming a starter.
"It's going to play itself out the way it plays itself out," Ryan said. "At the end of the day, I feel very confident we're going to have a great quarterback situation here."
Notes & quotes: Idzik said he liked the optimism of this year's team but declined to say if he thought the team was better on paper than last season's 8-8 team . . . Idzik was asked about how he planned to evaluate Ryan this season. Ryan signed an extension that is guaranteed through the 2015 season, so he has a little more job security than he did when Idzik took over the team last year. Said Idzik: "We have a fine working relationship. Rex and I have the benefit of having gone through an entire cycle together. He handles the team extremely well. He handles the staff extremely well. We have a common vision. It's been a true pleasure working with Rex and I anticipate that continuing."