While several New York Jets skill position players showed up for team bonding, weight lifting, and other forms of practice led by Sanchez in Mission Viejo, Calif., the incumbent’s biggest competition at quarterback was training in Florida on his own.
Sanchez told the New York Daily News on Friday that he had no hard feelings towards Smith or anyone else who was not able to attend his camp, but the situation has reached comedic levels.
During mini-camp, Smith, who was selected by the Jets in the second round of the draft, gave a “no comment” when asked if he would attend Sanchez’s camp, which essentially confirmed he had no interest in going to the event.
“Sure, sure,” Smith said about going to Jets West at the time, per the Daily News. “We haven’t talked about it, but from my understanding it’s something that’s done annually and all the guys go out there and it’s been a great experience. Mark hasn’t officially extended the hand to me but I’m pretty sure there’s no problem there. I’m more than willing to go there.”
He didn’t sound all that enthusiastic about going, right? Sanchez, meanwhile, said that everyone was invited.
Who can really blame Smith for not going? The camp is an unofficial event organized by Sanchez, whom Smith is trying to beat out for the job. Why would he want to walk into a situation where Sanchez is trying to assert his leadership? And though it is a nice gesture from Sanchez to organize the workouts, this is a player who has turned the ball over more than anyone else in the league the past two seasons. What kind of authority could he possibly have as a team leader? I know I would have a hard time taking his efforts seriously if I were one of his teammates based on the way he’s played.