Marty: Geno vs. Vick won't be 50-50

May, 29, 2014
May 29
3:55
PM ET
It was Marty Mornhinweg's turn to offer his take on the New York Jets' quarterback situation.

The offensive coordinator, fielding questions Thursday on a conference call with season-ticket holders, said there's "competition" between Geno Smith and Michael Vick, but there was a caveat -- one that suggests Vick is correct when he says it's not a truly open competition.

"It may not be quite like the competition we had last year, where everything was 50-50," said Mornhinweg, alluding to the open competition between Smith and Mark Sanchez. "Mike has all that experienced banked. We're trying to continue the progress with Geno and then have Mike ready to go. It's just that simple, and Mike knows exactly what expectations and roles he has."

Basically, Mornhinweg, reiterating what he said earlier in the offseason, said Smith will receive more practice reps than Vick -- another way of indicating they're preparing Smith to be the Week 1 starter. Vick, straying from the company line, has been blunt on the matter, saying it's "not an open competition" and that Smith will be the opening-day starter. Rex Ryan contradicted that, giving the impression of a disconnect between Vick and the decision-makers.

"Mike is here to compete, to push and to help Geno become his very best," Mornhinweg said. "When Mike is called upon, Mike expects -- and we expect him -- to play at a high level."

Mornhinweg believes they're "deep and talented" at quarterback, adding that Vick's arrival "kind of puts a stamp on the quarterback position -- at least for this year."

Mornhinweg, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey fielded questions for about 30 minutes. Among the highlights:

•  Right guard Willie Colon underwent his arthroscopic surgery Thursday, according to Mornhinweg, who didn't sound concerned. "He should be back very quickly, certainly before training camp," he said. In fact, Colon, already rehabbing a surgically repaired biceps, is expected to miss four to six weeks, according to a source. Colon suffered cartilage damage while working out earlier this week.

•  Second-year guard William Campbell isn't participating in OTA practices because of "minor surgery," Mornhinweg said. He didn't offer specifics, but he said Campbell should be back "pretty quick." Campbell, a former sixth-round pick, was inactive for every game last season.

•  McGaughey is high on free-agent addition Jacoby Ford and rookie Jalen Saunders as the potential kickoff and punt returner, respectively. "The speed is there, definitely," he said. "Hopefully, I don't screw it up."

•  Thurman spoke highly of the highest-drafted defensive rookies, safety Calvin Pryor and cornerback Dexter McDougle, but he didn't hand out any jobs. He said safety Dawan Landry is the "grandfather" of the secondary, suggesting he still will have a key role.

•  Mornhinweg said he expects to cut the number of sacks (47) and giveaways (29) in half. He's basing that on having more experienced players, meaning he's counting on Smith to outgrow his mistake-prone ways from his rookie year.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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