With Jets coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mike Vick providing increasingly conflicting perspectives regarding the existence of a true competition for the starting job, one key figure in the equation managed to say nothing on Wednesday.
As pointed out by Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, the Jets didn’t make Geno Smith available to the media. The silence from Smith came on the same day that Ryan told reporters a quarterback competition exists, and Vick responded by saying it doesn’t.
So what’s going on here? The Jets undoubtedly want Smith to think he’s competing for his job, even if he isn’t. Vick, who won a real quarterback competition last year in Philly, knows that it’s a sham — and he isn’t afraid to say so.
Vick’s candor undermines the ruse, as it relates to convincing Smith and anyone paying attention that Smith actually beat out Mike Vick in a fair-and-square contest for the top of the depth chart. That helps Vick avoid the inevitable appearance that he lost the gig to Smith. It also potentially will keep Smith from realizing the psychological benefit of winning the job via open competition with Mike Vick, which could make Smith more likely to struggle. Which in turn could give Vick an opening to play.
In a roundabout way, then, telling the world that there’s no open competition could help Vick eventually win the job.
And while Smith didn’t talk to the media today, he’ll eventually be asked to break the tie between his coach and his supposed competition.