Rex Ryan sees open QB competition, while Michael Vick sees it closed

Geno Smith Rex Ryan pose for photos after Geno Smith Rex Ryan pose for photos after beating the Cleveland Browns. (Dec. 22, 2013) Photo Credit: Lee S. Weissman

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Playing a never-ending game of semantics, the Jets have muddied the waters of a quarterback competition that should have been fairly straightforward.

Despite the front office's mantra of competition at every position, Michael Vick reiterated Wednesday that he and second-year quarterback Geno Smith are not engaged in an open competition.

Hours earlier, however, Rex Ryan denied the QB battle was already over.

"I think there is competition, there's no doubt," the Jets coach said on Day 2 of voluntary organized team activities. "And, as a coach, you love it . . . You try to get it at every position. It's probably unrealistic to think you can have it at every position. Certainly we have competition. And competition sometimes has to be, maybe, manufactured. You look at our defensive line -- there's great competition. But it might not be for who's pushing this guy, but they push each other."

As he's done in the past, Ryan said that players who give the team "the best chance to win" will be on the field. But when asked if Vick would earn the starting job if he outperforms Smith this preseason, the Jets coach laughed.

"Again, I think we'll let it play out a little bit," Ryan said. "It's the second day of OTAs. It's not closed competition . . . it's competition. And I don't mean to make light of it, but in a way I think I should. It's the second day of OTAs and here we have these questions. But again, let's let it play out.

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"One thing we know for certain . . . rest assured, the guy that we think will give us the best opportunity to win will be the guy."

Vick, however, sees things differently. The former Eagle conceded last week that the starting job belongs to Smith, regardless of how well he competes. But by Wednesday, it seemed someone had gotten to Vick.

As if he were reciting talking points provided by GM John Idzik himself, Vick sidestepped questions about the QB competition and said, "I'm here to compete every day and help this football team win games."

But when asked point-blank if the Jets' have an open competition, Vick replied: "Nah, it's not an open competition."

Smith, who was not made available to the media Wednesday, repeatedly has said he's approaching the offseason as though he's the underdog. But while the team has refused to name Smith the outright starter -- or even acknowledge he's got a clear edge over Vick -- the Jets quietly have made it clear that Smith is their choice to start Week 1.

So even though both quarterbacks split reps with the first-team offense Wednesday, Vick, 33, knows where he stands.

"I knew what I was getting into when I got here. It's everything I expected," he said. "I'm having fun with the guys. Everything is team-oriented and we're just having a good time. And we've just got to keep everything rolling."

Colon to have knee scoped. Willie Colon (torn biceps) also will have arthroscopic knee surgery, according to Ryan. The veteran right guard is expected to be back by training camp . . . First-round pick S Calvin Pryor (wisdom teeth) has participated only in individual drills during OTAs . . . Sixth-round CB Brandon Dixon signed his deal.

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