Rookie Geno Smith has outplayed Mark Sanchez through the first week of training camp pulling even or perhaps ahead in the New York Jets' quarterback competition. "He can do more" than Sanchez one veteran said Wednesday speaking on the condition of anonymity. It was Sanchez's turn to lead the starting unit and he struggled throwing an interception for the second straight practice. Smith has yet to throw an interception in team drills over the first five practices. It's premature to anoint a starter -- after all they haven't begun live tackling -- but the early development is noteworthy because people close to the team expected Sanchez based on his experience to look sharper than Smith at the outset. That hasn't been the case. "Everybody gets enamored with the guy who throws a 96 mph fastball" Ryan said of Smith. To be politically correct Ryan quickly added "But Mark certainly has a good enough arm to play in this league." It didn't sound like a ringing endorsement. Sanchez declined to say whether he believes he's leading the competition. "I don't know ask the coaches" he said. "I feel good though. I feel confident. I feel like I'm playing really well." Smith has sparkled with his accuracy but he tends to hold the ball too long when facing pressure according to Ryan. That he said "concerns me a little bit." The organization knows what it has in Sanchez who was benched late last season. Privately the hope is that Smith can master the offense and seize the starting job. Even if he doesn't win it Smith will be involved in the offense. Even though Tim Tebow is gone Ryan said he remains committed to running the ball from the quarterback position. He's intrigued by Smith's running ability which would give them a run-pass option at the quarterback position. Ryan acknowledged the plan admitting last year's strategy under former coordinator Tony Sparano was ill-conceived. They never trusted Tebow to throw the ball. Whenever they used him it usually was a read-option running play between the tackles.
Geno Smith outplaying Mark Sanchez
ESPN | Jul 31