FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Michael Vick said the one thing the Jets' front office has refused to admit: There is no open competition between him and Geno Smith.
Vick conceded on Thursday that even if he and Smith perform at the same level this offseason, he believes the second-year quarterback would get the starting job. And Vick, sounding every bit the backup QB, seems to have accepted his fate long before the so-called competition even begins.
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"It's still tough right now, I'll admit. I won't lie," he said after a workout at the team's facility. "Cause deep down, you always want to be a starter. You always feel like you're starting. That's just the competitive nature in me. And hopefully, that opportunity will come again one day and I've just got to keep working for it."
Vick is no stranger to having to fight for his job. Last season, he won the Eagles' starting gig, but after an injury, Nick Foles took over for the rest of the season. But Vick's situation with the Jets is different from Philly, where Vick said he and Foles knew coming into the offseason that "it was open competition and the best guy was going to win the job.''
"It was pretty much cut and dry," said Vick, who signed a one-year, $4-million free-agent deal with the Jets in March. "This situation is different. It's kind of unique. But even though it's not an open competition, [the two quarterbacks are] both competing every day and we both have to perform well each and every day."
Asked how his current situation is different from the competition in Philly, Vick said, "It's not been made publicly that it's open competition. [Eagles coach] Chip Kelly made it known that it was open competition. But we're still not going to change our approach . . . This is the NFL. You've got to perform, you've got to be at your best each and every day when your best is required."
Smith said he isn't going into minicamp thinking that he has a definite advantage over Vick. "No, I don't think that way," said Smith, who led the Jets to an 8-8 record despite committing 25 turnovers as a rookie. "I try to work as if I'm the underdog. Whether I'm named the starter or not, that's the way that I work."
But Vick and the rest of his teammates know this is Smith's team.
"Yeah, I would assume Geno would be the starter," Vick said, making it seem as though something drastic would have to happen for him to leapfrog over Smith.
"Geno's making great strides. At the end of last year, he did a lot of remarkable things to put this team in a position to win, did everything he was asked to do, and I think Marty [Mornhinweg] really has seen him taking those strides and was excited about this year coming in. We're all excited for him, we want nothing but the best for him and we've just got to continue to compete every day."