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Mark Sanchez likely to start Week 1 for Jets?

Mark SanchezThat sound you hear is New York Jets fans collectively groaning.

According to ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, second-round pick Geno Smith has not blown anyone away in the Jets’ team activities thus far. As a result, Cimini says it is likely that Mark Sanchez ends up starting Week 1 for the team.

Cimini does note that it is early and that things could change, but it is headed for Sanchez to start Week 1.

Sanchez has committed a league-high 52 turnovers over the past two seasons. He threw 18 interceptions and lost eight fumbles each year. The Jets went 14-17 in those games, and he played so poorly last season that Greg McElroy even replaced him.

This is bad news all around for Jets fans. Another season with Sanchez starting games means another losing season is coming. And if Smith fails to impress, that means it will be a while before the Jets’ quarterbacking problems are fixed.

Anonymous Jet: ’80 to 90 percent’ of team thinks Mark Sanchez should sit

Mark-Sanchez-Tim-Tebow-backupThe return of the anonymous New York Jets is upon us, and organized team activities have just barely gotten underway. Last season, the Jets had a major problem with players and team sources reportedly bashing one another without attaching their names to the quotes. According to CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman, at least one of them is at it again.

A current member of the Jets roster who asked not to be identified reportedly said earlier this week that most of the team believes someone besides Mark Sanchez should be the starting quarterback.

“Everyone on the team likes Mark personally but there’s a general feeling among some of the players that maybe it’s time to give someone else a chance,” the player allegedly said.

Freeman added that the player said “80 to 90 percent” of his teammates felt that way.

This is not the first time Sanchez has had to deal with anonymous members of the organization bashing him, and he’s not the first player that the anonymous critics have targeted. However, Freeman’s report does come on the heels of Rex Ryan being openly critical of Sanchez for throwing three interceptions in 11 pass attempts during OTAs on Wednesday.

“This is OTAs and things, but yeah, that’s going to be the pressure that we’re putting on him,” Ryan said, via the NY Daily News. “He did a lot of great things. It’s not that you try to cover up the fact you had some bad plays — no, no, no you flat tell him. We can’t have these and all that type of stuff. He knows.”

Ryan said that he was glad his defense was making plays but called it “disappointing” and unacceptable” that Sanchez turned the ball over that many times.

And just think, it’s only May. If this continues, it’s hard to imagine Sanchez will be on the roster when the season begins. Poor performances in practice are a great way to lose the confidence of a coaching staff, and it sounds like Sanchez has already lost the confidence of his teammates. From the sound of it, the Jets are picking up right where they left off in 2012.

Helmet smack to Around the League

Joe Namath: Jets did not need to draft Geno Smith

Geno SmithJoe Namath is one of very few Mark Sanchez supporters left in the country that are not related to the former USC star, which is surprising considering how critical the Hall of Famer has been of the New York Jets over the past several years. For whatever reason, Namath thinks Sanchez is capable of getting it done.

Geno Smith was expected by many — especially himself — to be the first quarterback selected in the 2013 draft. For that reason, the Jets thought he presented tremendous value at No. 39 overall. Not surprisingly, Namath thinks it was a wasted pick.

“No, I don’t think they needed a quarterback,” he said Tuesday according to the NY Daily News. “They needed the other positions filled. Possibly offensive line. They got some defensive line. The safeties are still questionable. The outside linebackers are still questionable.”

Namath is not the only one who feels that way, but at the same time there are not many people in Jets nation who feel comfortable with Sanchez as their quarterback. Broadway Joe praised Smith for being a “sensational athlete,” but he made it clear he is still high on Sanchez.

“I am pulling for (Sanchez),” he said. “I know that he can do better than he’s done. And we saw him lead a team to two AFC championship games, right? I also know what it’s like not to necessarily have the weapons you’d like to have, not to necessarily have the time you’d like to accomplish.

“I know it’s a team game and I know Sanchez is going to play better. I promise you you’ll see a different guy (this year). I believe you’ll see a different guy.”

Perhaps Namath knows something we don’t. Or maybe Sanchez’s new high-profile quarterback coach has done more for him than we could ever imagine. We know one Pro Bowl receiver isn’t buying it, and neither am I.

That being said, I’m not all that high on Smith at the moment either. Regardless of who the Jets starter is at the end of training camp, their defense will likely have to be closer to the caliber it was when they reached back-to-back AFC championship games if they want to contend.

Steve Smith: Mark Sanchez sucks

Mark-Sanchez-Tim-Tebow-backupSteve Smith remains as honest and outspoken as ever.

The longtime Carolina Panthers wide receiver was co-hosting The Drive on WFNZ 610-AM in Charlotte on Thursday when he bashed Mark Sanchez.

“He sucks,” Smith said simply.

“I wouldn’t let Mark Sanchez throw me a paper bag sandwich,” he joked. (audio here)

When asked about Smith’s remarks, Sanchez said, “I wish him and his team a healthy, successful season.”

Smith’s comments came up in the context of a debate about NFL quarterback rankings. CBS Sports’ Will Brinson listed the Jets quarterbacks (Sanchez and Geno Smith) 30th out of 32 in his rankings, below even Blaine Gabbert (something I would dispute). Smith must have agreed in some shape, because he doesn’t think very much of Sanchez.

We’ve long been down on Sanchez as a quarterback. I give credit to Sanchez for playing well in the playoffs his first two seasons which helped his team reach the AFC Championship Game twice, but the reality is the Jets made the postseason because they had a stellar defense, excellent offensive line, and great running game. When the line and running game weakened and they tried going to a pass-heavy attack the past few years, the results were poor.

Sanchez will be lucky to start another 16 games combined during the rest of his career.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Jeff Garcia: Tim Tebow is not going to compete for Jets quarterback job

tim-tebow-jetsWhat are the New York Jets waiting for? That’s what former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia and countless others are wondering regarding Tim Tebow. Garcia, who has become a personal mentor for Mark Sanchez, feels that the team is simply distracting Sanchez from reaching his potential by keeping Tebow around.

“If there’s going to be competition at the position, it’s not going to come from Tim Tebow,” Garcia told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “Having Tebow there (last season) just became more of a distraction, more of a circus show. Obviously, it’s their decision. But from an outsider looking in, having Tebow there doesn’t bring anything positive. It just brings distraction.

“For Mark, the main competition is going to be with David Garrard and Greg McElroy.”

Last month, Jets GM John Idzik the Jets are keeping Tebow to increase quarterback competition across the board. After what happened last year, we all know Tebow has no shot of earning the Jets starting quarterback job during the offseason. So is he really helping to increase competition?

“When you’re a quarterback, you don’t need artificial competition,” Garcia said. “And it’s not fair to Tim to put him through all that. If there’s a place for Tim that gives him a chance to be a contributor in an offense with another team, let him go be that guy.”

Garcia played under new Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. He has been working with Sanchez to teach him how to handle the West Coast offense and says Sanchez has done a “great job” so far. Clearly, Garcia has no reason to believe Tebow is pushing Sanchez to become a better player.

In reality, the Jets are probably holding out to see if they can get some sort of late-round draft pick compensation for Tebow on or around draft day. If that doesn’t happen, they would be stupid to keep him around.

Lennay Kekua reportedly claimed she was dating Mark Sanchez

Ronaiah TuiasosopoThe more we learn about the Manti Te’o hoax, the more we come to realize that the Notre Dame linebacker was not the first person that became a pawn in the games Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has allegedly strung together. Tessi Tolutau, a Hawaiian beauty queen who was crowned Miss South Pacific in 2007, said she was also contacted by a girl named Lennay Kekua several years ago.

Tolutau told the NY Post that Kekua messaged her on Facebook seeking advice on competing in a beauty pageant. She also reportedly told Tolutau that she had an impressive track record, including once dating Mark Sanchez.

“We would chat back and forth,” Tolutau said. “She explained to me that she played basketball at Stanford, that she was a Victoria’s Secret model, that she was dating somebody from Stanford. She even said she was dating [Jets quarterback] Mark Sanchez.”

Tolutau said she was shocked last week when news surfaced that Te’o’s girlfriend never actually existed.

“I didn’t even know that Manti’s dead girlfriend was Lennay Kekua until I saw the news this week,” she said.

In this case, Ronaiah may have posed as Kekua to give himself an opportunity to meet Tolutau, who explained that Kekua convinced her that she should meet Tuiasosopo. However, Tolutau said never considered that Kekua and Tuiasosopo could be one in the same.

“I never thought that before,” she explained. “That never crossed my mind. When Ronaiah’s name came out, I started to put the pieces together.”

With all the lies we have been led to believe that Tuiasosopo has told (like this classic story about NBC’s “The Voice”), it sounds like he is an extremely sick person who is in need of some serious help.

Rex Ryan appears to have a tattoo of his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey

Rex Ryan was recently photographed catching some rays by the pool with his shirt off while vacationing in the Bahamas. I know what you’re thinking, but give the guy a break. He’s lost a ton of weight so he has nothing to be ashamed of — except maybe the tattoo he has on his right arm of what appears to be his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey.

While our initial reaction when we heard the rumor was that this has to be some sort of photoshop job, we’re confident that is not the case since the photo was taken by NY Daily News photographer Andrew Theodorakis. Also, I don’t think there’s anyone in the world clever enough to make something like that up. And to top it all off, we already know Rex has one ridiculous tattoo.

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols shared the photo on Twitter:

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