NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The starting quarterback job is Geno Smith’s to lose, but Jets head coach Todd Bowles has made it clear that there will still be competition in camp.

Smith is not New York’s clear-cut starter, despite offensive coordinator Chan Gailey essentially proclaiming him just that late last month.

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The 24-year-old is entering his third NFL season, and he’s been the starter each of his first two years in the league. New York’s second-round pick in 2013, he’s been highly disappointing in the early stages of his career.

But in Smith’s defense, he was thrown into the fire rather quickly.

Jets guard Willie Colon has been around the block and has seen it all, and he told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday that Smith simply wasn’t ready to start two years ago when Mark Sanchez suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason.

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“Geno’s career, right now, is extremely turbulent,” Colon told the radio station. “He was never ready to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets. When Mark went down, he was thrown into the fire and he was forced to cook. Everybody knows in this league, to be a quarterback — which is the No. 1 position on the field — it’s a maturation period you have to go through.

“And it takes the mental, the physical — and everything to go along with it — to be the best, or even be in the top 10. Now, Geno, with that said, has made his mistakes. He’s said some things where you look at him like, ‘What are you talking about?’ But I think that’s all about his maturation period. And I think right now, like (teammate Antonio Cromartie) just mentioned, we bought the Porsche.

“We’ve given him the keys. He can’t crash it. Bottom line. He can’t crash it. We need him to be on top of his game. And we’re doing everything we can as an offensive line to make him comfortable back there.”

Smith has a new weapon to throw to this season, with the addition of five-time Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall.

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The other quarterbacks on the Jets’ roster are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Heaps and Bryce Petty.