Jets' Ryan: QB battle not close to being settled

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm •  Published: June 5, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith? Rex Ryan is in no rush to decide.

So, for those expecting the New York Jets to figure out their quarterback situation by the end of next week's minicamp, you'll have to wait a while longer.

"I don't think we're close to that right now," Ryan said Wednesday after the team's final session of organized team activities open to the media.

"Obviously, the process is, I don't have to make that move," Ryan added. "Until we feel 100 percent comfortable with that decision, then we'll just leave it to the competition."

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg recently suggested he hoped a front-runner would emerge early, but Ryan is content with letting it play out into training camp, which begins in late-July. Sanchez is the incumbent trying to revive his career, and Smith is the hotshot rookie who many believe is the future of the franchise.

"It's way too early to say," Ryan said. "Some days, this guy looks good, and some days this guy looks good."

The Jets have insisted the quarterback competition is open to all quarterbacks on the roster, including Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. But the reality, of course, is that it will come down to Sanchez or Smith, especially with David Garrard having recently retired.

Sanchez has taken the majority of first-team snaps during sessions open to the media, but Ryan said Smith has worked with the starting offense at times throughout the other OTAs. But neither has separated himself in the competition at this point — or at least enough for Ryan to determine who will be under center when the Jets open the regular season at home against Tampa Bay on Sept. 8.

"For me to make the decision, to say the competition is over, it's going to have to be 100 percent clear to me," Ryan said. "And if it's not, then we're going to keep competing until whenever."

And, whenever could be sometime in August, up in Cortland, N.Y., where the Jets hold training camp.

"It's nothing big or scary," Sanchez said of the competition. "I'm just being myself and doing my very best — and that'll be good enough."

Both quarterbacks struggled Wednesday with several wide receivers out nursing injuries. That has led to some lack of rhythm between quarterback and wide receiver.

Santonio Holmes, out since early last season with a foot injury, is still rehabilitating and Ryan indicated that there's a chance he could start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Stephen Hill, coming off an injury-filled rookie season, sat out with fluid and swelling in his surgically repaired knee after diving for a pass in a previous practice.

Jeremy Kerley had what Ryan called a "heel issue," while Clyde Gates tweaked a hamstring. That means undrafted free agents such as Joseph Collins, Zach Rogers, Thomas Mayo and Vidal Hazelton — guys who might not make the team out of training camp — have been the primary targets lately for Sanchez and Smith.

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