"For me to make the decision to say the competition is over, it's going to have to be a 100 percent clear to me," said Ryan. "And if it's not, then we're going to keep competing until whenever."
As the coaching staff evaluates both Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez—the clear front-runners for the starting gig—the injuries to the Jets' receiving corps have made it rather difficult to judge which signal caller deserves to command the huddle. Santonio Holmes is still recovering from a LisFranc Injury, Stephen Hill has missed the majority of OTA's and Minicamp with swelling in his knee and both Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates have missed significant practice time; much to the dismay of their head coach.
"Well I mean that's brutal," admitted Ryan. "If we had to play, again, there would be major concerns. If we had to play this week, now some of those guys would probably be able to play. But again, obviously you're going to look a lot different when your top four guys are out there than you would right now."
The Jets have been ravaged by injuries the past couple of seasons and Ryan is hopeful that this latest slew of setbacks won't be a harbinger of more to come.
Even with injury issues nagging his ballclub, Ryan took special notice to his rookie signal-caller's first few weeks with Gang Green.
"I think he's doing a great job," said Ryan of Geno Smith. "He's on top of that. I think the way he throws the ball, obviously you notice his physical skills. He can throw it with anybody and I think that's been impressive as well."
While Smith has impressed in the early going, Sanchez has appeared to make some positive strides with regards to ball security and decision making during minicamp.
"Well, I saw it even today in the red zone," noted Ryan of Sanchez valuing the football. "That's why I said ‘hey look. It's not there. You made a good move by not trying to force the issue.' And I think he did that a few times. That is encouraging to me. An incompletion is not the worst thing that can happen to you, as we know. We have to eliminate those mistakes down there in the red zone, those turnovers."
Turnovers were a backbreaker for New York last season, as the Jets couldn't get out of their own way by squandering countless scoring opportunities inside the red zone. Gang Green is looking to reverse the trend this season and make costly turnovers a thing of the past.
"If you focus so much attention on what happened in the past you lose sight of what's in front of you," declared Ryan. "And I don't think that's what we're doing now. I think everybody's excited about where we are. The preparation has been outstanding and we'll move forward."