Lost in the quarterback competition between incumbent starter Mark Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith is Greg McElroy.
But a year after his first taste of NFL action included a start late in the 2012 season, McElroy appears to be on the outside looking in despite what is supposed to be an open quarterback competition. Throughout offseason workouts, minicamp and now the completion of the first day of training camp on Friday, McElroy seems to have ensconced himself as the third quarterback on the roster, ahead of Matt Simms.
It is unlikely Simms will supplant the third-year quarterback, but it is equally unlikely McElroy be given a shot at the starting job.
“All I’m ready about is making the most of the reps that I’ve given and helping out Mark, Geno and Matt as much as I can. Just trying to get better,” McElroy said.
McElroy looked to be better than Sanchez by the end of last year, including replacing him in the fourth quarter of an early-December game against the Cardinals, when he orchestrated a comeback scoring drive for the win. Three weeks later he was named starter and though he struggled in the loss to the Chargers, there were signs of potential. So there was reason for optimism on McElroy’s part this offseason when John Idzik was announced as general manager and he openly preached a competition mantra.
But it seems that the coaching staff and perhaps management is set on making this a competition between only Sanchez and Smith, leaving McElroy on the outside looking in.
“You don’t think about anything like that; you can’t think like that. Because at the end of the day, it is a blessing to play quarterback in the NFL and the Jets and you to take it like that,” McElroy said. “Everyone understands what Mr. Idzik and our management is going to do. They’re going to incorporate competition. It’s early, we’re trying to enjoy it [and] trying to get better.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for live updates from training camp.