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Jets quarterback competition starts in pre season

By Carlos Mercado           

The Jets training camp in Cortland NY is in motion as preparations continue for the season opener with bigger expectations this season than last. Last season the Jets were a very young, predicted to win three games. They were a surprise and won eight- games including upset wins over the Falcons in Atlanta, the Saints, and against the perennial New England Patriots.

The Jets passing offense was the second worst in the league led by rookie quarterback Geno Smith, although the Jets had a lot of injuries to key players in the offense with Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, and Kellen Winslow as Geno Smith’s top targets.

Smith had his good moments last season and he also had his bad moments as you expect from a rookie quarterback who is learning the game.         

So during the offseason the Jets made changes to the offense, releasing Holmes and Winslow, and signing wide receivers. The former Bronco Eric Decker, former Raider Jacoby Ford and former Titans RB Chris Johnson, and they drafted TE Jace Amaro from Texas Tech University.

Former Eagles QB Michael Vick adds to the equation competing for the starting quarterback job at camp. During the last few weeks, Smith has been taking the majority of the first team reps and Vick has taken the majority of second team reps so this is basically Smith’s job to lose.

 Smith was named the starter for the first preseason game Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts and showing signs of improvement according to head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan said “Geno is always watching film on how to get better as quarterback. The guy is determined to get better and he works hard every day” Smith said, that he believes he’ll be a top five quarterback in a few years stating, “that it’s a working progress I’m trying to get better as a quarterback”.

 

Smith can’t wait to take the field on Thursday.

“I’m motivated to get on the field for an actual game to see how all the work I’ve put in during the offseason will translate I’m physically bigger, stronger and on the mental side of it I’m not thinking as much, not swimming as much,” Smith said.

On his progression from this time last year, he commented, “I have a better understanding of the offense and really just understanding my surroundings a lot better. Ultimately it’s about proving it on the field, going out there on Thursday night and being sharp and having a good showing.”

 During the Green and White scrimmage on Saturday, Smith led four drives and scored once with a Nick Folk field goal. The offense had its chances in the red zone, and at the goal line, but could not fine the end zone. Smith said against Indianapolis, he hopes to see more points on the scoreboard.

“We did a lot of good things. We did a lot more than I anticipated coming out of the game, but the thing was we didn’t put it together in the end,” he said. “We didn’t score down in the red zone. We missed assignments. Overall I think we got better, but obviously we want to score more points.”

While Smith is determined to get more points on the scoreboard, Vick said he’s eager to play against a new opponent, one he doesn’t see as often.

“I’m looking forward to playing against a different opponent other than our defense every day,” Vick said. “It’s been a great camp, rough going against those guys though. It feels good to get those pads on against someone else.”

 

Ryan said that the plan is to have the starters play until the second quarter which is when Vick would enter the game. Vick said that although it’s a preseason game he is preparing like if it’s a regular season game.

“I’ve had a couple of different experiences in the preseason. The one thing you don’t want to do is not take a rigorous approach. You want to go out there and accomplish something. When you try to just get through it, bad things always tend to happen. For me, it’s always been an injury. I think right now we have to continue with what we’ve built on the foundation that we’ve laid and try to be effective try to be productive.”

 Vick in the green and white scrimmage on Saturday scrambled twice for 35 yards including a 20 yard scramble on 3rd and 17. He said he has no anticipation of his playing time for Tomorrow night’s game leaving that decision to the coaching staff.

“I think that’s totally up to the coaches,” he said “I know there’s guys that we have that need to get that work in, that need to get that work in, that need that real live action. As much as I can play, I’m going to go out there and do the best I can.”

 Jets vs. Colts preseason Thursday night at 7PM at Metlife stadium on CBS Sports Network.