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Geno Smith Outdueling Mark Sanchez in Training Camp


As with every season over the past few years, there has been plenty of attention directed towards the New York Jets’ training camp recently as Mark Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith battle for the starting quarterback job – a battle that Smith is apparently winning.

According to ESPN.com, a veteran Jets player – who chose to remain anonymous – said of Smith : “He can do more” when comparing his game to Sanchez’s.

Sanchez has thrown two interceptions in the past two practices, whereas Smith has thrown none in the last five. Smith has also demonstrated his scrambling capabilities as a dual-threat QB.

Of course, head coach Rex Ryan wouldn’t say who is leading the competition, but he did say he and his staff were impressed by Smith’s arm.

“Everybody gets enamored with the guy who throws a 96 mph fastball,” Ryan said of Smith. He then quickly added, “But Mark certainly has a good enough arm to play in this league.”

Sanchez also wouldn’t comment directly on the status of the competition, but said he feels good with the way he’s performed.

“I don’t know, ask the coaches,” Sanchez said. “I feel good, though. I feel confident. I feel like I’m playing really well.”

While some expected Sanchez to come out and win the starting job this season – due to his experience and veteran status – I have never been one in that camp, so this news is not all that surprising.

If you’ve watched the Jets – and particularly Sanchez – struggle through the past few seasons with highly-touted teams, then you would realize that Smith clearly had the upper hand coming into this year’s camp, even though he is a rookie.

Smith has an edge on Sanchez, not just because he can run with the ball, but because he possesses a strong, accurate arm, which is something that’s been missing in the Jets’ organization for quite some time. Still, it’s the ability to improvise with his legs that makes him stand out the most from Sanchez.

Of course, training camp is far to early to declare a winner in a quarterback competition. Both players will have the entire preseason to prove their worth, but there’s no doubt that the pressure is on the incumbent Sanchez this time around.

“For you (reporters), it’s your job, but it’s funny to see everybody else charting stuff,” Sanchez said. “Everything is under scrutiny. There’s a ton of pressure. That’s the way you like it; that’s the way you play this position.”

What’s really funny is to hear Sanchez say something like this when he has failed to overcome the pressure in New York his entire career. Regardless of how things work out in New York, expect a lot more drama and some underwhelming play – as usual – once we get into the meat of the regular season.






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