Smith to start over Vick in Jets’ preseason opener
CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Geno Smith is getting the call for the New York Jets.
No stunner there.
Coach Rex Ryan announced Monday that Smith will start over Michael Vick at quarterback, as expected, in the Jets’ preseason opener Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
“I’ve been happy with the way he’s looked, his command and things,” Ryan said.
Smith is looking to retain the starting job in his second season. He has taken about 80 percent of the snaps with the first-team offense during training camp — which had been the plan set by Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Vick signed in March after five seasons in Philadelphia, giving the Jets an experienced backup and playmaker who could push Smith and step in if he falters or is injured. Smith was listed as the No. 1 quarterback on the first depth chart of camp released by the team Monday morning.
Ryan said he and Mornhinweg have not determined how long Smith and the starters will play in the game at MetLife Stadium, or if Vick will also take some snaps with the starters.
Both Smith and Vick have been solid — not spectacular — so far this summer. Neither was able to get the Jets into the end zone during the team’s scrimmage Saturday. Vick showed off his running ability in that practice, leading the team with 35 yards rushing, including a 20-yarder.
Because of Vick’s speed and elusiveness, Ryan could have the option of using him as a change-of-pace quarterback — or perhaps even in the wildcat formation.
“Really haven’t thought about that,” Ryan said. “We’re just trying to get through our first preseason game, but clearly he adds that element. There’s no doubt.”
Ryan was then asked if things might get complicated when a team starts using two quarterbacks.
“Well, it never worked out great the last time, did it?” a smiling Ryan said, alluding to the Jets’ use of Sanchez and Tim Tebow in 2012. “We’ll see. But you never say never to things.”
NOTES: There were no surprises on the depth chart, except for the team listing Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson and Bilal Powell all as starters at RB. Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley are down as starters at WR. Rookie Jalen Saunders currently holds the No. 1 spot at punt returner, while Jacoby Ford leads the team’s kick returners. ... Rookie S Calvin Pryor practiced a bit in team drills for the first time since suffering a concussion July 26. Ryan said he had been cleared for some contact, and the team later clarified that Pryor is a full go. His status vs. the Colts was uncertain. ... Decker has been limited by foot and hamstring ailments, but Ryan said he thinks “he’ll be fine.” ... Ryan confirmed that LB Jermaine Cunningham tore his right Achilles tendon in the scrimmage and needs season-ending surgery.
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