New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith may be on his way to winning the starting job over Mark Sanchez. On Wednesday, Smith worked with the Jets’ first-team offense for the third straight day. As Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News pointed out, the Jets had previously been sticking to a two-day rotation with Smith and Sanchez.
Smith was up to the challenge. At one point during practice on Wednesday, he was 10-for-10 and various Jets beat writers were commenting on how sharp he looked. Mehta later pointed out that Smith was 15-for-16, had thrown for two touchdowns and no interceptions, and was “having his way” with New York’s defense in the hurry-up offense.
Earlier this month, a report indicated that Smith is likely to earn the starting quarterback job as long as he looks sharp in preseason play. He then suffered an ankle injury which many speculated could slow his progress, but that doesn’t sound like it has been the case. Sanchez has already thrown a pick six during one preseason game and an end-zone interception in the other, so he certainly isn’t turning heads.
Rex Ryan has shown unconditional support for Sanchez over the past few years. He even has a tattoo of his wife wearing what appears to be a Sanchez jersey. But the Jets need more consistency on offense this season, and Sanchez has proven over the past two years that he is not capable of providing it. If nothing else, Smith should be able to energize New York’s offense.
Ryan is taking a bigger role in the team’s defense this year, and he said on Tuesday that he expects the unit to be among the five best in the NFL in 2013. That will be no easy task without players like Darrelle Revis and Bart Scott, but Rex has the creativity to pull it off. The question now is whether he will continue to allow Sanchez to put his defense in a position to fail.