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Vick: Jets QB battle isn’t an open competition

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during warm ups prior to a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 29, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Credit: Getty / Justin Edmonds)

Michael Vick said the one thing the Jets front office has refused to admit: there is no open QB competition in Florham Park.

Vick confirmed the obvious Thursday when he noted his current situation with the Jets is far different from what he experienced with Nick Foles last year in Philly.

“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,” said Vick, who lost his starting job to Foles after suffering an injury. “Whoever performed well throughout OTAs and preseason. That’s just what it was. It was pretty much cut and dry.

“This situation (with the Jets) is different. It’s kind of unique. But even though it’s not an open competition, (Geno and I are) both competing every day and we both have to perform well each and every day.”

Vick went on to explain that unlike in Philly "it’s not been made public that it’s an open competition. Chip Kelly made it known that it was an 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.”

Smith impressed in his first few games as a rookie last season, but he finished the year with 25 total turnovers. He did, however, improve down the stretch to help the Jets win three of their final four games.

Smith told reporters Thursday that he will approach the upcoming season as though he’s the “underdog.” But despite Idzik’s mantra of competition at every position, the incumbent Smith seems to have the upper hand on his veteran counterpart.

“[Vick is] a tremendous football player, a very talented guy and I think it’s going to be great for Geno,” Ryan said last month, when asked how Vick’s arrival will impact Smith. “I think the biggest thing that Mike is going to help Geno with is probably his experience, and his experience in this system will really help Geno as well.”

Vick – who turns 34 next month – was extremely complimentary of Smith, whom he called “a very smart kid” who wants to get better. “And that’s what’s most important,” he added. “I think in this game, your attitude is what sets you apart.”

But while Vick has gladly accepted the role of mentor, he hasn’t given up on his personal goal of getting on the field. 

“It’s still tough right now, I’ll admit. I won’t lie,” he said. “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.”

But he also conceded that even if he and Smith were to perform at the same level during training camp and in the preseason, the youngster would get the nod.

“Yeah, I would assume Geno would be the starter,” Vick said. “Geno’s making great strides. At the end of the year 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 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.”

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