By Jeff Fetter: New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez says he has no worries at all about his competition with the Jets’ rookie 2nd round draft choice quarterback Geno Smith this season. Sanchez feels he’s been there before in competitions against other quarterbacks while in high school, college and with the Jets, and he sees himself winning this competition.
Sanchez said to ESPNNewYork.com “When it’s a straight up competition for the job, let’s roll. It really doesn’t bother me at all. It really doesn’t affect my confidence or anything like that. We’re competing for something. All right, I’m going to win. That’s just how I am.”
Sanchez may have won past quarterback competitions but that was against quarterbacks that weren’t drafted specifically in the 2nd as a potential successor for Sanchez. Smith was likely drafted because things haven’t been going well for Sanchez in his first four seasons in the NFL. He’s not played well in any of the seasons he’s been in the NFL since being drafted by the Jets in 2009 out of USC, and the fact that he’s not showing any progress is reason enough for the Jets to go in another direction.
If Geno Smith doesn’t win the starting job this season then that’s a reflection on him and his talent, because if he was a truly talented player, someone deserving to be a 2nd round draft choice, then he should be able to step in and play at a high level and take Sanchez’s starting job right off the bat.
In Sanchez’s four seasons in the NFL, he’s competed 53.8, 54.8, 56.7 and 54.3 percent of his passes. His quarterback rating his been 63, 75.3, 78.2, and 66.9. That’s dreadful and not worthy of a starter and not showing progress.
Sanchez will have to play his socks off during training camp and the preseason games if he wants to keep the starting job because Jets head coach Rex Ryan is in a situation where he absolutely needs the Jets to win. He can’t afford to be coaching a Jets team that puts up losing records every season, and he definitely can’t afford to have a starting quarterback that completes only 54 percent of his throws.