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Marty Mornhinweg says Michael Vick's job is to push Geno Smith

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

Despite all the talk of competition at One Jets Drive, it appears things will remain status quo with the arrival of Michael Vick.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told reporters during a conference call Tuesday that second-year quarterback Geno Smith will take first-team reps to start minicamp. As Mornhinweg went on to explain Vick's role on the team, it became clear that the starting job essentially is Smith's to lose.

Vick, who spent several years in Philadelphia playing in Mornhinweg's West Coast system, signed a free-agent deal with the Jets in March. And the veteran QB will be expected to push Smith to be the "very best" he can be, the coordinator said.

Mornhinweg also said the quarterback competition will be structured "in a certain way" to ensure nothing impedes Smith's progress.

"Mike's going to handle that real well," Mornhinweg said. "He's going to do the right thing. He's going to compete, he's going to play hard, all those things. Competition just makes you better. It's just that simple.

"We brought Mike in to compete, to push Geno and to make Geno the very best he can make him. And I wanted to make sure that Mike was ready for that . . . I think this thing's going to work beautifully. And we'll see."

Though Smith will take the first-team reps, the coordinator said it won't be "many" more than Vick.

Given Vick's NFL experience and his familiarity with Mornhinweg, it came as no surprise that his former Eagles teammate, LeSean McCoy, gave the 33-year-old signal-caller his endorsement.

"Vick is going to be the starting quarterback this year," the running back told the New York Post on Monday. "He's way better than Geno Smith. Way better. That's no contest."

Mornhinweg carefully tap-danced around those comments. "I like LeSean," he said. "LeSean is one of my favorites. He had a good day yesterday, mediawise."

But despite Vick's talent ("He's still got it," Mornhinweg said), the veteran's main assignment will be to make Smith better.

Said Mornhinweg: "He's got a really important role here . . . If he's called upon to play, when he's called upon to play, I expect Mike Vick to play at a real high level."

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