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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Gruden on Smith-Vick: Too close to call

By Rich Cimini

Unlike LeSean McCoy, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden doesn't have a strong feeling about who will prevail in the New York Jets' quarterback competition. In a conference call Tuesday with reporters, Gruden was non-committal on Geno Smith versus Michael Vick, although he suspects Smith would be the Week 1 starter if it's a close battle.

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"I wish I could answer that," Gruden said. "It's a two-horse race. It might be a photo finish. You might have to ask me this after we see the preseason. I have no idea, just because Michael Vick has an association with Marty Mornhinweg. I do like what Geno Smith did as a freshman ... er, rookie quarterback in the NFL. He had a rocky beginning -- he had some rough outings -- but he showed some mental and physical toughness. I think he improved. I like the youth at the quarterback position that has experience. I think if it's close, I think the tie goes to the second-year player."

Just for kicks, I asked Gruden what the Jets should do if, by chance, Johnny Manziel falls to them.

"If Johnny Manziel is there at 18, I'll give you my cell phone number and I'll take you out to a steak dinner," Gruden said.

Now there's a medium-rare opportunity.