The quarterback competition between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith is the most interesting storyline to follow from New York Jets training camp this summer. Most reporters have used words like “uninspiring” to describe Smith’s performance during practice since the Jets drafted him, and multiple reports have indicated Sanchez should be the starter come Week 1.
Smith has yet to give up hope.
“I feel like I have a great shot,” Smith told The Charleston Gazette over the weekend. “I did a pretty good job overall of just adapting to the system and playbook and felt very comfortable with it by the end of OTAs and mandatory [mini-] camp [in May and June].”
With the way Sanchez has played over the past two seasons, one would think Smith would have to do very little to beat him out. However, Rex Ryan has shown unconditional support for Sanchez over the years. Couple that with rumors about the Jets considering using Smith as a change-of-pace quarterback and it would be tough to imagine Sanchez not being under center for the first game of the season.
“Going into training camp I’ve got a great opportunity and feel very good about it,” Smith said. “I’m going to go in there with the right mentality, the same mentality I had throughout my entire career, which is to work hard, to better myself and help my teammates get better and we’ll see what happens at the end of preseason.”
What else can he say? There’s a reason Geno decided not to participate in Sanchez’s annual team camp in California. He expects to be the future quarterback of the Jets, and he wants that to start in 2013. There’s a good chance he will get a chance to prove himself, but it probably won’t come in Week 1. If Sanchez continues to stink, Geno’s shot will come sooner rather than later.