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Jets QB Sanchez Seems To Own Advantage Over Geno Smith

by Noah Weintraub
Jun 19, 2013 9:54 PM EDT



Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are battling to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets, but Sanchez seems to have the inside track on keeping his job.

Sanchez has been the starting quarterback since he was drafted in 2009. His performance last season is the reason why his job is in jeopardy. Last season, he had 13 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with a 66.9 rating, ranking in the top 10 in interceptions and the bottom 10 in touchdowns.

The front office showed they were frustrated with Sanchez’s performance when they drafted West Virginia quarterback Smith in the second round of April’s draft. Smith had a great collegiate career.

As a three-year starter, he finished with 97 touchdowns compared with only 21 interceptions. The team’s fans that attended April’s draft were ecstatic when Smith was selected.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan has said he is giving both quarterbacks an equal opportunity to earn the coveted position. It appears the incumbent is embracing this competition.

“I’m having a great time,” Sanchez said. “I’m in an awesome situation. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. That’s how I always feel. I just have a positive attitude. I’m trying to bring those guys along, get guys working hard, study my butt off and prepare each day.

It is very peculiar to hear an incumbent say he approves of a competition that could cost him his job. Although Gregg Rosenthal, Around The League Editor, said Sanchez appears to be the favorite.

“Reading between the lines of coaching comments, it sounds like Smith has ground to make up in camp if he's going to start early in the season. Talk that Smith could run a package of read option or Wildcat plays off the bench doesn't help matters,” Rosenthal said. “Sanchez looks like a bigger favorite for the job now than he was at the beginning of the offseason.”

Rich Cimini from ESPNNewYork.com said Sanchez appears to be the favorite, but for a different reason.

“Judging from what I've seen and heard, rookie Geno Smith hasn't blown anybody away the way Russell Wilson did last season when he walked into the Seahawks' facility. It's still early and things could change, but the way this is headed, it'll be Sanchez versus the Bucs in Week 1,” Cimini said. “That's the way it should be. Unless Smith is lights-out in the preseason, the Jets should open with Sanchez.”

Rex Ryan should strongly consider what the team’s top wide receiver Santonio Holmes thinks, according to Josh Sanchez of fansided.com.

“[Sanchez is] going to be our guy,” Holmes said, via ESPN New York. “Coaches brought him back and they kept him on this team for a reason. He’s a great leader and he’s got great potential and he’s excited about this season upcoming, and so am I.”

“I think everybody believes in him,” Holmes said. “He wouldn’t be here if anybody didn’t believe in him. He’s still wearing the same No. 6 jersey that he wore since the day he got drafted here, and I think the organization and even the team love him and we’re going to continue supporting him.”

At the end of the day, Ryan should do what he believes is best for his team. The last thing the team needs is another media spectacle as they had last season.

A media spectacle would occur if the team uses Smith as the wildcat or read-option quarterback. The team should not do this because it does not help with his development.

The media would constantly ask Ryan and the players why Smith is in the role he is in. This would be counterproductive.

If Holmes is right about the team believing in Sanchez, then Ryan should listen to his players. Ryan will have a tough time this summer deciding if he should go with experience, Sanchez, or potential, Smith.