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on August 01, 2014 at 5:43 PM, updated August 01, 2014 at 5:53 PM
CORTLAND, N.Y. – The Jets' quarterback competition is neither an open competition nor a controversy, no matter what the team's brass might still be might saying publicly.
Head coach Rex Ryan can keep calling it a competition, and general manager John Idzik can say all he wants that the situation isn't "tilted"toward Geno Smith, but the reality is obvious: Smith has the advantage over Michael Vick. It's Smith's job to lose, and it's been that way since organized team activities and minicamp. Vick, of all people, has had no problem making that clear.
But since neither quarterback has officially been named a starter, we're going to chart their progress until that happens. Here's how things looked on Day 8 of training camp on Thursday, the seventh day of practice, when nobody other than Smith led the first-team offense in team periods.Geno Smith
Analysis: After a rough start to the week, the offense had the upper hand on Friday, and so did both quarterbacks. Smith had a pretty good day, but he wasn't always sharp. In drills against no defense, Eric Decker had to slow down to catch a ball. Smith also sailed a couple of passes too high in red-zone drills. And in 7-on-7s, he forced a pass to Jacoby Ford that fell incomplete. Smith sort of gets a pass (no pun intended, I swear) for his lone pick because David Nelson fell down as Smith delivered a deep ball, though Smith also put the throw in a spot where safety Dawan Landry could run under it. Good stuff? In 7-on7s, Smith hit Jeremy Kerley just inside the pylon even though Kerley was covered. Smith also threaded one high so Kerley could get it in the end zone with Jeremy Reeves right on him. He found Stephen Hill in a tight spot with cornerback Ras-I Dowing in coverage. He quickly checked down to Chris Johnson when linebacker Calvin Pace got to him unmolested off the edge. And he threw a perfect deep ball for Hill after Hill got behind cornerback Dee Milliner.
Stats (team drills): 4-for-9 with an interception on Friday. Overall, Smith is 42-for-70, seven sacks, three interceptions.
Number of first-team reps: 14 on Thursday (87.5 percent), 118 to date (80.2 percent)
Quote from Smith: "As many reps as you can get will help out and I’m a living testament to that. I can just see the growth in myself and in the guys around me due to that, due to us just continuing to work hard during the offseason, during the OTA’s and minicamps. Now we’re in camp and guys have continued to keep that same mentality."
Quote from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg: "He has had several good days. [Wednesday was] subpar, and we all were. It was the whole offensive football team [that was] subpar on that particular day."
Analysis: Smith may not be doing anything to lose the starting job, but it's not because Vick isn't doing enough to win it. For the second consecutive day, Vick impressed. His deep ball is breathtaking, and his deep TD to Jacoby Ford on Friday was a beauty. Vick did struggle to convert in two tries in the red zone, though that appeared to be the result of good coverage that forced him to throw the ball out of the end zone.
Stats (team drills): 2-for-6 on Friday. Overall, Vick is 33-for-53, five sacks, two interceptions.
Number of first-team reps: 2 on Friday (12.5 percent), 29 to date (19.7 percent)
Quote from Vick: "I really don’t have too many [concerns with the offense]. I think we’ve just got to continue to maintain our focus and put ourselves in a position where we have more successful plays than unsuccessful plays."
Quote from former Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff: "Michael Vick’s put a challenge up. He didn’t come here for nothing now. I’m a little bit surprised—and I didn’t really see him that much—at Michael Vick’s arm strength. It’s pretty damn good. When you put all that together, it makes for an interesting preseason. We’ll see what happens.”If the season started today ...
A solid, even day for both quarterbacks all-around. But Smith has still not messed up nearly enough to lose the job. Still going with Geno, everybody.