Marty in the middle: Says there is QB competition and Geno on inside track

Marty Mornhinweg takes a stance in the middle of whether or not there is a quarterback competition, and says Geno Smith is the favorite.Rich Schultz/Getty Images Marty Mornhinweg takes a stance in the middle of whether or not there is a quarterback competition, and says Geno Smith is the favorite.

One day after Rex Ryan and Michael Vick contradicted each other over whether the Jets are having a legitimate quarterback competition, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg weighed in and landed somewhere in the middle, indicating that Geno Smith has the inside track to the starting job.

“There is competition,” Mornhinweg said Thursday on a conference call with season-ticket holders. “Now it may not quite be like the competition we had last year where everything was 50-50.”

A year ago, Smith and Mark Sanchez were part of an open quarterback competition through training camp and the preseason until Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that gave Smith the job.

This isn’t the first time Mornhinweg has given the edge to Smith: the coordinator had previously said he doesn’t want anything to impede the second-year QB’s development.

Though the Jets have said Vick would compete for the starting job when they signed him, the veteran has now twice said that it is not an open competition. Vick believes Smith will start the season as the Jets quarterback.

“We’re trying to continue the progression with Geno and then have Mike ready to go,” Mornhinweg said. “It’s just that simple, and Mike knows exactly what the expectations of roles that he has, and Geno knows the exact expectations as does Matt (Simms) and Tajh (Boyd).”

Mornhinweg, as the coaches have done all offseason, talked up Smith by highlighting his play in the final quarter of the season. The Jets went 3-1 in their final four games of 2013 with Smith throwing for four touchdowns, rushing for three more, while throwing two interceptions in that span.

The offensive coordinator praised Vick’s experience but recognized that he is nearly 34 years old. “He does have some age to him, (but) he can still play at a high level,” Mornhinweg said. “He’s a proven winner.”

COLON NEWS: Mornhinweg said Willie Colon was expected to get his knee scoped Thursday, and that the guard should be back for training camp. Oday Aboushi filled in at right guard for Colon during Wednesday’s OTAs. Mornhinweg also added that fellow guard William Campbell is coming off of a minor surgery.

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