Geno Smith will be the Jets starting quarterback this year, so says the second-year product out of West Virginia.
When asked if he will start in 2014, despite the team signing veteran quarterback Michael Vick this past offseason to a two-year contract, Smith answered, “Yes.” Smith, a second-round pick last season, struggled for much of his rookie season but rebounded over the final four games to finish three wins.
“Overall, I think it will make our team better. I’m all for competition,” Smith said. “As I told you guys, I am going to compete no matter who [they bring] in. I think we got a good guy in Mike, who brings something extra to the table as far as veteran leadership into our quarterback room, as well as a guy with tremendous capabilities that we all — him, myself and Matt Simms — can compete with one another as well as learn from one another. It should be fun in our quarterback room.”
Smith's status now that Vick is here is anyone's guess.
Earlier this month, Metro reported the Jets would open up the quarterback competition and let Vick compete for the starting job. With the competition to start now open, Smith will surely have to improve over last year's performance, which was sub par on several occasions.
Before he pulled his hamstring early last season, Vick was the starting quarterback for the Eagles, having beaten out Nick Foles. Vick made it clear in his introductory conference call with the media that he plans to compete and he hasn't come in just to be a mentor.
Smith got the message that just because he started last year doesn't mean he's locked in at No. 1 this season.
“Well, it is a competition between all of us and like I’ve said, the starter will be named at the end of camp and the beginning of the season,” Smith said. “I respect what Michael said, but I understand that there’s a competition and honestly, it comes down to what we do on the field. In these interviews [it's talk], but it really comes down to what we do on the field and that’s really what I look forward to. I look forward to competing with a guy like Mike because I know he has been a starter in this league and is capable at the age that he is. He still runs fast, he still throws it accurately and with great velocity. He is a very smart quarterback in my opinion and as long as we continue to get better, it’s going to make our team better.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.