IF everything goes smoothly in New York Jets training camp, Geno Smith will be where he left off at the end of his rookie season.
Smith will play like the quarterback who won three of his last four games, not the one who threw interception after interception earlier in the season.
He will glean valuable pearls of wisdom from Michael Vick, and the Jets will look brilliant for bringing in the 34-year-old veteran to be his backup.
And by the time the season opens, Smith will have the confidence, skills and mindset to lead the Jets deep into the playoffs -- and Vick will be content with his supporting role.
There's only one problem with this scenario. When, exactly, was the last time everything went smoothly in a Jets training camp?
The Jets, who will report to SUNY-Cortland for camp on Wednesday, haven't exactly been graceful when it comes to managing quarterback competitions in the past. Never mind that the team is trying to make it as easy as possible for Smith to hold on to his starting spot, with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg maintaining that he will get "70 to 75 per cent" of the reps. If Vick clearly outplays Smith in the preseason, things quickly could get complicated.
Smith said in minicamp, "Obviously, there is a big difference with just the way that we've jelled. Having a second year in this offense and a better understanding of what's required of us and the way to get in and out of routes, the timing of the offense, all those little subtle details that really takes time to develop."
Jets owner Woody Johnson has made clear that he's not satisfied with finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs, as the team did last year. And though Vick repeatedly has told reporters that it is not an "open competition," Johnson has predicted that there will be a genuine competition for the starting job.
"I don't think Michael Vick is resigned to anything," Johnson said. "I think Michael Vick is a born competitor, like most of the people in this locker room will compete on everything. So I wouldn't take it at face value."
Of course, the pseudo-quarterback competition isn't the only story line in Cortland this summer. The Jets seem to be in a better position than they were 12 months ago, when Rex Ryan appeared to be a lame-duck coach under first-year general manager John Idzik. Now Ryan has a short contract extension and more talent at his disposal, especially on offence, as Idzik was uncharacteristically aggressive in free agency, signing Vick, wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Chris Johnson.
The immediate challenge will be to integrate the new players into Mornhinweg's offence and define their roles.