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Mark Sanchez’s shoulder injury likely will keep him out Week 1

Mark SanchezGet ready to fire Rex Ryan again, because it looks like Mark Sanchez won’t be ready for Week 1 of the NFL season.

Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith have been competing for the New York Jets’ starting quarterback job. The team’s front office wanted Smith to win the job, but the West Virginia product played so poorly in the team’s third preseason game that it appeared Sanchez would be a better option. The problem is Ryan inserted Sanchez into the game last weekend in the fourth quarter, and Sanchez got hurt after his shoulder was driven into the turf.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Sanchez is unlikely to be ready for the team’s opening game on Sunday Sept. 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that he hasn’t thrown this week.

Matt Simms started the team’s final preseason game on Thursday. Greg McElroy is also a possibility to start Week 1, as is Smith. The team also signed Graham Harrell this week after he was cut by the Green Bay Packers.

Smith may end up starting Week 1 after all, and he can thank Sanchez’s shoulder injury.

Geno Smith lights it up with first team at New York Jets practice

Geno Smith JetsNew 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.

Mark Sanchez throws pick six on first preseason series

If you predicted Mark Sanchez throwing a pick six on his first possession of the preseason, come on down and collect your prize.

Sanchez, who has committed an NFL-high 54 turnovers over the past two seasons, threw an interception on his third pass of the preseason that was returned 14 yards for a touchdown. The pass came on a busted screen on Friday, but Sanchez did not recognize the play was broken and attempted the pass. Detroit Lions rookie first-round draft pick Ziggy Ansah intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Here’s the video via Jimmy Traina:

Sanchez finished the game 10-of-13 for 125 yards and a touchdown in addition to the pick, so at least he cleaned it up.

Another interesting note about Sanchez is that the guy is really remaining committed to his headband look. He wore it before, during and after the game:

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Mark Sanchez responds to Twitter hater who hopes he tears his ACL

Mark SanchezThis must be the week of athletes striking back at Twitter haters.

When you’re a public figure like Mark Sanchez, and you’ve led the NFL in turnovers over the past two seasons, and you’re responsible for the most embarrassing football plays of the year, and you’re playing in the biggest city in the country, a lot of people will be out for your head.

Some fans express their thoughts in conversation with friends, others call sports talk radio, and then there are those who decide to take matters head on. These keyboard warriors will tweet at the athlete and say some of the most jacked up things you could imagine. This time Sanchito decided to reply to one.

Here’s how the New York Jets quarterback handled a fan telling him (in all caps) that he hopes the QB tears his ACL:

Sanchez certainly took a different approach from Dwight Howard, who ripped a Twitter follower earlier in the week, but we certainly respect the quarterback’s humility.

H/T The Jets Stream

Geno Smith on winning New York Jets starting job: ‘I feel like I have a great shot’

Geno-Smith-JetsThe 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.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Geno Smith on missing Jets West camp: Me and Mark Sanchez are cool

Geno-Smith-JetsGeno Smith raised a few eyebrows last week when he was a no-show for Mark Sanchez’s “Jets West” camp. Sanchez’s camp has become an annual tradition with the New York Jets and a time where the team can work on bonding, conditioning and other forms of practice.

As LB mentioned before, Smith probably chose not to attend because he is trying to beat Sanchez out for the starting quarterback position. Whatever the reason, the rookie said his decision to skip has not created any problems between him and Sanchez.

“Me and Mark are cool. No hard feelings or anything,” Smith said in an interview with OCNN, via the NY Daily News. “He’s up there getting work with the guys, I’m down here getting work.”

Sanchez basically said the same last week, but that hasn’t stopped the media from jumping to conclusions.

“I think it’s just something to talk about,” Smith said. “Right now it’s a dead period, so any type of hype, anything that they can get their hands on, some type of controversy. The media, they’re just doing their job. They got to create a hot story, they gotta keep the fans interested.”

That’s a pretty fair assessment. Jets stories tend to be a go-to for media outlets (us included) during the NFL offseason, mainly because they have a lot of stupid ideas and say a lot of stupid things. If Smith plans to have a successful career in New York, he might as well get used to it now.

H/T Twitter/Mansh Mehta

Geno Smith’s invitation to Jets West camp must have been lost in the mail

Geno-Smith-JetsMark Sanchez is holding his annual “Jets West” camp and, unsurprisingly, Geno Smith is a no-show.

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.