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GM: Geno Smith still first-string QB . . . for time being

Quarterback Geno Smith of the New York Jets

Quarterback Geno Smith of the New York Jets warms up before a game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on Dec. 14, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frederick Breedon

Geno Smith is still getting first-team reps for the Jets . . . for now.

In an interview Thursday with WFAN's Mike Francesa, general manager Mike Maccagnan continued to underline the uncertain situation at quarterback. He said although he deferred to coach Todd Bowles, the philosophy is to "let the thing work out for itself and we'll see where the guys are.''

"It's so early in our process,'' Maccagnan said, noting that Smith's main competition, Ryan Fitzpatrick, still is healing from the broken leg he suffered in December. "I know people kind of want to line up who's starting and who's backing up, and this will all work itself out.

"I will say that Geno is the first quarterback up in terms of reps, so right now, he'll get the No. 1 reps and Ryan, right now, obviously, is still limited.''

To make the situation slightly more complicated, Maccagnan also sang the praises of third-stringer Matt Simms and draft pick Bryce Petty.

"I was pleasantly surprised watching him work,'' Maccagnan said of Simms, who Bowles had said would compete with Petty for a spot on the depth chart. "I knew him before and liked him. He has some ability and I'm excited to see how he does . . . He's a great kid, so [you can't] discount him at all.''

The Jets moved up a spot to draft Petty in the fourth round. Maccagnan acknowledged there always are questions when quarterbacks try to wean themselves off college systems and spread offenses, but said Petty could have the qualities to make it work.

"There's a risk, but we felt very good about Bryce from a personality standpoint, in terms of being a good kid, an exceptionally hard worker, a smart kid, so we thought he had all the intangible things that lined up and then from a physical standpoint, his size, stature, he has a good arm,'' Maccagnan said of Petty, who is 6-3, 230 pounds.

"It's going to be up to him to determine what type of player he develops into. We're going to do everything possible to put him in a position to be successful, but it's going to be a maturation process.''

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