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Jets GM John Idzik says he'll have a 'pretty big role' in QB choice

Jets general manager John Idzik talks with reporters

Jets general manager John Idzik talks with reporters during training camp in Cortland. (July 27, 2013) Credit: Hans Pennink

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Jets general manager John Idzik has always said the team's approach to decision-making will be collaborative. And that's the same tactic he expects the team to use this summer when deciding between quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith.

Idzik made it clear that he will have a "pretty big role" in choosing the starting QB. But no one person in the organization will have veto power, he said. Not even Rex Ryan.

Given ample opportunities to defer to his head coach in the face of a hypothetical stalemate, Idzik instead repeated the company line. "It's a collaborative effort," he said.

" . . . Obviously, we're going to talk with Rex, with Marty [Mornhinweg, the offensive coordinator], with David [Lee, the quarterbacks coach]. We'll talk with our entire offensive staff, our scouts. We have a lot of input in that."

It remains to be seen, however, who will have the final say.

When the Jets arrived in Cortland on Thursday, Ryan said he'd prefer to make the quarterback decision "sooner rather than later" but cautioned that he'll wait as long as it takes to ensure that the right decision is made.

"When I make that decision, clearly I'll feel great about it," the coach said. "And not just me, but I'll lean on several other people."

When reminded Saturday that NFL head coaches often are given the freedom to make final roster decisions, Idzik agreed -- kind of.

"Well, yes," he said, adding that the team's decision will be based on "an accumulation of a lot of information and discussion" over a period of time.

"When you look at who's going to play, Rex and I are going to talk about that freely. And I like to believe that that has been the case so far, that if you put in that time and effort, when you make the decision, it's a 'we' decision. It's not one individual."

As expected, Idzik divulged very little about the absence of running back Mike Goodson, the contract impasse between the Jets and their first-round pick, cornerback Dee Milliner, and the likelihood of Santonio Holmes seeing action this season.

Asked when he expects Goodson to appear in training camp, the GM said: "I don't know. There's no timeline on that at all. So we just have to play that one by ear . . . Of course it's our hope that Mike comes back and he can contribute."

Idzik again defended the Jets' "extremely thorough" background check of Goodson, who was signed in March and arrested May 17 on five drugs and weapons charges. He also said several factors -- including a player's status on the team -- are weighed in this sort of situation.

"His effectiveness as a player, as a person, in the community, in the building -- we take all of those things into account," he said.

Idzik wouldn't say whether Goodson's absence was initiated by the team. "It's a private, delicate matter," he said, refusing to say whether he's been in constant contact with the running back. "But I can say that we were aware this was going to happen. It wasn't a surprise."

Idzik also provided little insight into Milliner's absence.

"Whenever there's more than one party involved, you don't have total control over it. So I really don't know," he said. "All we can do is keep a constant line of communication open, which we have . . . I don't think it's frustrating as much as it's just learning how to deal with what you have."

As for Holmes, who is in Cortland rehabbing from foot surgery, Idzik said: "These next few weeks will be very telling."

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