Geno Smith will start preseason opener

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The worst-kept secret in training camp became a reality Monday, when it was announced that Geno Smith will start the New York Jets' preseason opener Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

What, you expected Michael Vick?

That was never a possibility. Smith, the presumed Week 1 starter, has taken about 80 percent of the reps with the starting offense in training camp. He's listed ahead of Vick on the first official depth chart, which was released Monday morning.

So there you have it.

"I've been happy with the way he's looked," Rex Ryan said of Smith.

Ryan said he hasn't decided how long Smith will play, but it figures to be at least two series. In the preseason opener last year, Mark Sanchez started and played the entire first quarter -- three series and a total of 20 plays. Of course, his first series ended abruptly, with his mind-boggling interception on a screen pass, returned for a touchdown by Detroit Lions rookie defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah. Ah, memories.

Clearly, it's Smith's job to lose even though Ryan and general manager John Idzik are sticking to the company line, calling it a competition. Even Vick has acknowledged it's not an open competition.

Truth be told, Vick has outplayed Smith on the practice field by the slightest of margins. Unofficially, Vick has completed 61 percent of his attempts in team drills, with only two interceptions. For Smith, it's 58 percent and three interceptions.

Vick has dazzled with his scrambling ability, breaking two long runs in the intrasquad scrimmage. Ryan all but dismissed the possibility of using Vick as a change-of-pace quarterback, saying, "We haven't thought about that." Ryan later said, "You never say never to things," but the message was clear. They don't want to go there again.

"It never worked out that great the last time, did it?" Ryan asked, smiling.

That, of course, was a reference to that left-handed quarterback in 2012. Some guy named Tim.