Tuesday, April 30, 2013

GM John Idzik: Jets will have 'open competition' at quarterback

The day after the New York Jets released Tim Tebow, general manager John Idzik indicated that any one of the five remaining quarterbacks will get a shot to be the Week 1 starter. With one down, that leaves Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms to grab the top quarterback spot.

"It’s an open competition," Idzik said on ESPN radio’s Mike & Mike show on Tuesday. "It’s an open competition not only at quarterback, but at all positions on our roster. That will hold not only throughout the entire year, but hold as long as I’m here. Mark’s in the competition. We fully expect that it will help him get better. It will help David get better…. It will help Greg. It will help Matt Simms. It will certainly help Geno. I think the more quality, depth and competition you can bring in at the position, it makes everybody better. That certainly includes Mark."

Sanchez, last year's flawed and unpopular starter, is not expected to be released before training camp opens, according to sources.

Tebow was unceremoniously kicked to the curb Monday —  even after Idzik was humming that you can't have too many quarterbacks tune to the press. Although the move seemed inevitable.

"We had six quarterbacks," Idzik said. "Something had to give. We thought it was appropriate at that time to release Tim."

"We just entered this offseason open-minded and said, 'Let’s bring Tim in and let him get in our offseason program and take it from there,'" Idzik added.

The Jets' new GM said that the Jets fielded calls on possible trade opportunities involving Tebow (“There’s a lot of kicking tires so to speak,” he said. “We’ll field those calls. If it’s not in the best interest of the Jets, we’ll just hold firm.”), but nothing materialized.

Oddly, Idzik said that he didn't even ask Tebow to change positions.

"While I was here, he was slated as a quarterback," Idzik said.
It was suspected by everyone that Tebow’s days were numbered regardless of whether or not the Jets drafted Smith.

Smith, meanwhile, will inherit the glaring tabloid Kleig lights after the Tebow fiasco.

"If you’re a first-round quarterback—first-round any position – the spotlight is a little bit brighter," Idzik said. "Him coming in as a second rounder, perhaps it’s a little dim, but being that he’s in the New York market, he’s at a high profile position, I think he’s going to be center stage regardless.”
Idzik said that Sanchez, whose days as the starter appear in jeopardy, has been "even keeled" throughout this process.

"I told him that I really admire how he’s handled some very difficult situations," Idzik said. "He’s focused. He’s energized. He’s been very positive."

In other words, get ready for another dog and pony show in Jets camp. 

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