Dear Rex Ryan and John Idzik, Please End the QB “Competition”


Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan (right) and general manager John Idzik (left) look on during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

You have heard of a “Dear John” letter? Well, this is a Dear Rex and John letter.

Dear Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik:

This letter comes today as a request. The topic of this note is the ongoing competition between quarterbacks Geno Smith and Michael Vick. Despite the team’s mantra of competition, it is time to end the madness, and announce that Geno Smith will be the starter when week one arrives.

Don’t get me wrong gentlemen, the idea of competition is a great one. Too many times, when athletes feel too secure in their positions, they don’t work very hard. Once they get a new contract, or get cemented in their roles, they assume they own them for life, and their work ethic, therefore production, goes down.

John, we have also see how effective competition was with your former team, the Seattle Seahawks. You had a high-priced veteran in Matt Flynn, but instead of giving the big contract the playing time, you had a competition. A draft pick named Russell Wilson won the starting qb job, and the rest goes down in Seahawks’ history.

But, Jets’ fans do not have the wool over their eyes. We all see how often Geno Smith plays, compared to how often Michael Vick plays. We saw that Smith played a full half with the starters, while Michael Vick entered the game in the second half with the backups. Geno’s playing time increased from game one to game two, and we can all see that.

We don’t buy it when you say that the two quarterbacks compete against each other during stretching exercises. Coming into the game against the Bengals, Geno Smith had taken 82% of the first team snaps. We all know what that means. You don’t have a competition when the snap distribution is that extreme. Sorry.

All I am asking is that you announce the starting quarterback before game three against the Giants. As we all know, that game is the “dress rehearsal” game. The starters play into the third quarter, to get the most work in during their final tune-up before the regular season. How can they appropriately prepare if they don’t know who the starter is?

It’s OK to name the starting quarterback at this point. You are not taking away from the “competition” mantra. Each competition does not have to run through the entire camp. You wanted Michael and Geno to push each other, you had that, and you still have that. There never really was an equal competition, so let’s end the farce that the competition is still going on.

Just announce that Geno Smith is the starting quarterback. It’s not going to hurt, and it will help the team prepare for week one.


Alan Schechter