CORTLAND, N.Y.- There seems to be more anonymous quotes coming out of the New York Jets training camp, according to espn.com.
After last years Tim Tebow fiasco, it seemed like anonymous quotes would be a mainstay for the organization. This past Wednesday, a veteran Jets player told the media he believes that rookie QB, Geno Smith, “can do more” at the quarterback position than incumbent QB, Mark Sanchez. Geno Smith was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Many within the organization believed incumbent QB, Mark Sanchez, would have the edge in training camp due to experience within the league. However, that does not seem the case. Sanchez has struggled in team drills throwing an interception in each of the past two practices. Smith has yet to throw one. Many close to the team believed, because of experience, that Sanchez would look sharper and control the offense better, in training camp, than Smith. This is not the case, with Smith outshining Sanchez in the 1st week of practice.
“Everybody gets enamored with the guy who throws a 96 mph fastball,” Jets Head Coach, Rex Ryan, said about Smith. However, Ryan quickly added, “But Mark (Sanchez) certainly has a good enough arm to play in this league.”
Despite what seemed like a rather unflattering comparison by Ryan, Sanchez declined to comment on if he thinks he is leading the QB 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.”
People close to the organization privately hope Smith can master the offense during training camp, to become the starter. However, if he doesn’t win the starting job, Smith will still play a role in the offense. Even after the Tebow fiasco from last year, Ryan is determined at running the ball from the quarterback position.
“I think if that’s the only thing you do with that position, why don’t you just leave a running back in, a guy that’s trained to do it?” Ryan said, admitting last year’s strategy under former coordinator Tony Sparano was, to say the least, ill-conceived. “If you’re going to have a quarterback do it, like a (Colin) Kaepernick or somebody like that, it becomes more of a weapon because you know it’s not just Tebow coming and he’s going to run the ball. That’s kind of where we were last year.”
Ryan is intrigued by Smith’s ability to run the ball, which would allow them to have a run-pass option at QB. Sanchez has said in the past that he is capable of running the read-option, but that does not seem too likely after last years Thanksgiving Day incident, now commonly referred to as the “Butt Fumble“.
With the hire of new quarterbacks coach David Lee, one of the Wildcat innovators, Ryan has been asked about how frequently they plan to use the Wildcat in this years offense.
“We probably will because, you guys say it, we never used it,” Ryan laughed. “So I would say, yeah, I think that will be part of what we do.”
In the Wildcat formation, the ball is snapped to a non-quarterback. In those situations, the Jets can utilize wide receiver Jeremy Kerley or a running back. When Smith is on the field, with his mobility, they will be able to execute the read-option.
Training camp for the Jets, is still young. The quarterback competition is still wide open. It is still too early to appoint a starting QB, especially considering they haven’t even begun live tackling yet. It’ll be an interesting battle in Cortland, NY over the next couple of weeks. And we here at New York Sports Kings will keep a close eye and ear on any developing stories regarding the New York Jets.