Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are currently entrenched in a heated battle for the starting quarterback job. Though judging by his teammate’s opinion, the rookie looks to be getting the best of the veteran.
An anonymous Jets player told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com that “[Smith] can do more” than Sanchez, who’s thrown an interception in consecutive practices. Smith, meanwhile, has yet to throw a pick in five practices.
Impressive considering the ex-Mountaineer is learning coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast system while getting accustomed to taking snaps under center. Remember, Smith worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun in college.
Jets coach Rex Ryan likes what he sees from Smith’s strong arm — arguably stronger than Sanchez’s — but is remaining even-keeled about both players.
“Everybody gets enamored with the guy who throws a 96 mph fastball,” Ryan said of Smith. To be politically correct, Ryan quickly added, “But Mark certainly has a good enough arm to play in this league.”
Unsurprisingly, Sanchez wouldn’t say whether or not he’s trailing Smith.
“I don’t know, ask the coaches,” he said. “I feel good, though. I feel confident. I feel like I’m playing really well.”
As Cimini notes, it’s too early to declare the competition over. The real test for Smith will be in the preseason contests, when the red jersey comes off and the action is real.
Interestingly, however, the team’s “hope” is that Smith can “master the offense and seize the starting job.”
Through the first wave of camp, Smith appears well on his way.
(Photo credit: Associated Press)