For the first time in training camp, Michael Vick wasn't given any first-team reps. That, he said, didn't bother him.
But a question about the Jets' so-called quarterback competition seemed to be more than he could tolerate. Vick abruptly ended a group session with the media Thursday upon hearing the final interview question.
"Do you think the coaches have already made their decision?" a reporter asked.
Looking somewhat confused, he said, "Decision about what?"
"The quarterback job," the reporter responded.
And with that, Vick left.
"I'm outta here," he said with a smile. "Y'all have a good one."
As Vick walked past members of the media, the reporter said to him: "It's a fair question."
And, surprisingly, the quarterback agreed.
"It's a fair question," Vick acknowledged, flashing another smile before heading to the locker room.
The truth is, that question was answered long ago -- by none other than Vick himself. And the answer became more evident as practice went on. The highlight of the day was 10 goal-line/short-yardage plays (which, by the way, were dominated by the defense), but the other story line was Geno Smith getting all of the starting reps (16).
And Vick expects that trend to continue. "Yeah, I mean, pretty much it's been that way," he said of the discrepancy in reps.
Vick repeatedly has said this is not an "open" competition, but the Jets have gone out of their way not to name Smith their Week 1 starter. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wouldn't even concede that Smith is expected to start next week's preseason opener against the Colts.
"We'll see," Mornhinweg said. "We are not even concerned about that. [It] hasn't even been discussed."
But regardless of what the Jets say publicly, Vick already has assured Mornhinweg in private that he is on board with their plans for Smith.
"Marty understands that, look, we have a certain mission to accomplish and we've got to get things going and we've got to get on the right track, and I understand that," Vick said. "I won't stand in the way of that."
Mornhinweg raved about Vick being "all in," reiterating that he is here "to push Geno, to compete with Geno, to make Geno the best quarterback he can be. And then he's got to be ready when called upon to play."
Vick, meanwhile, didn't seem bothered by his lack of first-team reps. "I know how to approach practice in a professional manner. I take advantage of every rep I get," he said. "I come to work every day to get better. I feel like I'm getting better each and every day, and that's a great feeling at the age of 34 . . . pushing the young guys and still pushing myself and still watching the film, feeling like I'm getting good results."
But if all goes according to the Jets' plan, Vick won't get the chance to start over Smith.
It's early in the process, but Mornhinweg seems particularly pleased with Smith's progress. Asked about Smith's issues with turnovers and ball security, Mornhinweg said: "He's got that thing fixed. And we'll see if it stays fixed. That's the challenge."