Idzik says QB competition not 'tilted'

July, 25, 2014
7/25/14
4:05
PM ET
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Even though Geno Smith took 75 percent of the reps with the first-team offense in the first two days of practice, the New York Jets don't have a frontrunner for the starting-quarterback job, general manager John Idzik said Friday.

"I don't think it's tilted at all," Idzik told reporters in one of his periodic Q & As with the media.

Idzik, who has preached the "competition" mantra from the day he was hired, refused to acknowledge it's Smith's job to lose -- even though Michael Vick and a handful of players have publicly identified Smith as the presumed starter. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has said his plan is to give Smith about 70 to 75 percent of the reps throughout camp, making it rather obvious that Smith is the leading candidate.

But Idzik wouldn't go that far.

Smith
"Competition is not about counting reps," Idzik said. "Reps can ebb and flow. You saw that last summer. You may switch up the workload from early in the week to late in the week.

"Let's let this thing transpire. Let's see what happens. ... There could be a little fluctuation in the reps. Going into camp, we're giving the lion's share to Geno and we'll see how he responds. So far, he has responded very well. [Vick] is an experienced veteran. That plays into it as well."

Rex Ryan, revealing a sly grin, parroted Idzik's remarks, saying neither quarterback has the edge. He said there's no timetable on when he hopes to name a starter.

"At the end of the day, I feel very confident we're going to have a great quarterback situation here," Ryan said.

Idzik addressed a few other topics. As expected, he was extremely guarded with regard to his expectations for the team, declining to give anything close to a goal or a prediction. He wouldn't say if he feels this team is better on paper than last year's group, which finished a surprising 8-8. If he played it any closer to the vest, he wouldn't be able to see his own cards.

Idzik was asked how he'd evaluate Ryan this season.

"I don't know that it's an evaluation in the purest sense, that we're grading things day to day," Idzik said. "We have a fine working relationship. Rex and I have the benefit of having gone through an entire cycle together. He handles the team extremely well. He handles the staff extremely well. We have a common vision. ... It's been a true pleasure working with Rex and I anticipate that continuing."

Ryan signed a multi-year contract extension, putting him under contract through 2016, but only 2014 and 2015 are fully guaranteed. His status isn't as tenuous as it was last year at this time, but a fourth straight non-playoff season wouldn't bode well.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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