Wide receiver David Nelson summed up the reality of the New York Jets' quarterback situation.

"When the coaches say, 'First-group offense,' we know who's walking in the huddle," Nelson said Tuesday. "It's not something that needs to be said. He's the guy and we're moving forward."

He, of course, is Geno Smith. Barring an injury, he will be the Jets' opening-day quarterback, but the team isn't willing to anoint him just yet. Rex Ryan confirmed the obvious, saying Smith will start Friday night against the New York Giants, but he didn't want to make a commitment beyond then.

"When we think it's the right time, we'll tell you," said Ryan, who was peppered with questions.

Smith is expected to play two-plus quarters with the starters, meaning he will end the preseason with about 5 1/2 quarters with the first team. (Traditionally, Ryan doesn't play starters in the preseason finale.) So far, Michael Vick has played only one series with the starters. Do the math.

Why haven't the Jets made the announcement? A couple of reasons. John Idzik's mantra is competition, and he probably believes it would contradict his philosophy if they were to declare a winner at quarterback before the most important preseason game -- even though we all know it's a faux competition.