- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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There has been a lot of talk about the New York Jets' quarterback competition and whether it's open or closed -- or semi-open and semi-closed. If Curtis Martin were in charge, he'd make it an open competition, with Geno Smith and Michael Vick splitting everything down the middle, may the best man win.
"I've always been a fan of open competition. I think it's healthy for a team," the Hall of Fame running back said Monday at the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic at the Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y. "Quarterback is a very important position on the field. One thing that doesn't go over well with the entire team is, if there's one person that deserves it more than another and it's because of favoritism (that) someone (else) gets the position, that doesn't go over well."
Martin described a scenario that could occur with the Jets. Clearly, Smith is the favorite, but what if he's outplayed by Vick in the preseason and still gets the job? Martin, for one, believes Vick would win the job on a level playing field. But that will be difficult with Smith slated to receive most of the first-team reps in training camp.
The former Jets great wasn't suggesting the team has created a potentially toxic situation. He actually thinks it can work if both quarterbacks buy in.
"The good thing about the dynamic between Vick and Geno is that you have a younger guy and an older guy with a lot of experience," Martin said. "I think Vick was one of the pioneers of that style of quarterback, along with Randall Cunningham and guys like that. I think Vick has a lot of knowledge and wisdom he can pass on to Geno.
"I think Geno has a world of talent, but at quarterback it's really hard to make all that talent come together and express itself properly out on the field. It's about leadership. The quarterback has to be that guy."
Martin was one of many celebrities at the golf tournament, which raised money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation.