Smith Impresses Coaching Staff, Appears To Have Matured Considerably

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the longest time the Jets have been trying to tell anyone who will listen that any talk of an open competition for the starting quarterback position is being conducted by those simply not paying attention.

The Jets, from general manager John Idzik on down to head coach Rex Ryan and his assistants, have repeatedly said Geno Smith would be put in a position to continue his maturation.

And it’s safe to assume they didn’t mean he’d be doing it on the bench.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on Wednesday echoed what Ryan has said repeatedly — that Smith would have to fall completely flat on his face or suffer a devastating injury to not be under center on opening day, telling reporters after the second day of mandatory minicamp that Smith will “get 70-75 percent of the reps with the first team offense” during training camp.

Mornhinweg admitted it’s his “duty” to “continue to progress the young quarterback.”

“He’s had an outstanding offseason. He’s quite different than last year with 16 games under his belt,” Mornhinweg added. “He’s got the bull by the horns and he’s driving it.”

As for Michael Vick, the quarterback many fans penciled in as the starter the second he signed as a free agent, Mornhinweg said the 11-year veteran “has a great responsibility” to be ready to “play at the highest level he’s ever played” should Smith prove to be unworthy of the opportunity he’s getting.

“I want to make myself clear: Geno knows exactly what his expectations are and his role is. Mike knows exactly what his expectations are and his role is,” Mornhinweg said.

Smith, who was selected in the second round of the 2013 draft out of West Virginia, threw for 3,046 yards and 12 touchdowns, and ran for 366 yards and six scores, but turned the ball over 25 times, as a rookie.

Vick, a four-time Pro Bowler who missed two seasons while jailed for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring, spent the past five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, but only played in seven games during an injury-plagued 2013 season. He completed 54.6 percent of his passes last season for 1,215 yards and five touchdowns. He was turnover-prone, however, throwing three interceptions and fumbling four times.

For his 11-year career, Vick has thrown for more than 21,000 yards, with 128 touchdowns and 85 interceptions, to go along with 5,857 yards, 36 touchdowns and 7.1 yards per carry on the ground.

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