The Jets don’t have an open quarterback competition, said veteran quarterback Michael Vick on Thursday as he essentially ceded the starting job to second-year quarterback Geno Smith.
Vick came to the Jets this offseason as a free agent signing, a season removed from a hamstring injury which cost him his starting job with the Eagles. It was assumed Vick would be able to compete for the starting job right away with the Jets. Instead, Vick sounded resigned to a season of carrying a clipboard.
“[Last year], we knew, both of us coming in, that it was open competition,” Vick said of the battle with Nick Foles. “The best guy was going to win the job.”
This year, Vick said it isn’t quite as “cut and dry.”
“This situation is different, it is kind of unique,” Vick said. “Even though it’s not an open competition, we’re both competing every day. I think we both have to come and perform each and every day.”
If healthy, there is little doubt Vick can be a starter in this league. While Smith did make strides over the final month of last year, it remains to be seen if a large number of kinks in his development have been ironed out. Last year he forced throws and often locked in on wide receivers.
Smith wouldn’t lay claim to the starting job when he spoke to the media on Thursday, leaving Vick to cede the job. The veteran sounded content at coming in to provide a mentor role, even before the first snap of minicamp.
It was puzzling language from Vick, who was the Week 1 starter last year for a team which made the playoffs.
“You always want to start,” Vick said. “You got to find that balance for me right now, the stage that I’m at in my career. [I am] trying to help Geno, [and] trying to help myself. [I’m] trying to continue to be the best I can be, make the most of my opportunities in this situation [and] not overthink it.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.