Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith embracing Jets QB competition

Geno Smith gave himself poor grades on his first day at minicamp, but the coaching staff was satisfied. Credit: Getty Images
Geno Smith is getting a person tutorial from Mark Sanchez, despite their QB competition.
Credit: Getty Images

It would have been easy for Mark Sanchez to have packed it in with a fan base that has turned on him and a franchise seemingly ready to move on.

After all, Sanchez was the Jets’ highly touted first-round pick in 2009. After being anointed as starter almost immediately over Kellen Clemens, Sanchez seemed ready to take the next step heading into his third year in the league. But instead, he has struggled the past two years and when the Jets took Geno Smith in the second round this past April, no one would have blamed him for going through the motions.

Instead, Sanchez is not only competing to maintain his grip on the starting job but he’s being a good teammate, trying to help Smith mature and develop.

“I’ve competed my whole life, whether it was high school or college, beating out other quarterbacks, [including] my first year here playing with Kellen. That’s all I’ve known. It’s nothing new or scary. I’m being myself, doing my best and keep doing what I’m doing,” Sanchez said. “It doesn’t bother me. I’m apathetic to it.”

But what is most noticeable is that Sanchez has taken to the competition, not just for himself but also in mentoring Smith. He’s been helping the rookie in acclimating to the NFL.

“Mark has taken to helping Geno, being a real teammate to him,” one team source told Metro. “It is pretty noble actually. He is helping him on the field, in the classroom. It isn’t a show. He is helping him be the best he can be. I think in turn, that is making Mark confident because it is noticeable how much better he has a command of the offense. It is quite obvious.”

Smith needs the help as he comes to the Jets with a reputation as being lazy and not a tremendous classroom presence. A major reason why he dropped from a consensus Top-10 pick to No. 39 in the draft was his reputation off the field.

Right now, he is saying and doing the right things in the quarterback competition. Every day is a learning experience for Smith, even as he has struggled mightily.

“First of all, it is bringing it in practice — coming to practice ready to compete, coming to practice focused [and] taking advantage of every single rep, [including] the mental reps, even when I’m not in,” Smith said. “Obviously the coaches are going to do the grading but you have a knowledge of what you did good, what you did bad.”

Like Sanchez, Smith has embraced the open quarterback competition. While he has struggled during practice and looked out of sorts at times, he doesn’t sound like someone who feels entitled to the starting job.

“Every single day in practice we compete hard — not just in team periods but in walkthroughs. It is in individual periods. It is in everything. That’s the nature of the game,” Smith said. “It’s good to have a guy like Mark who is welcome to teaching me things. He is open to competition and great spirited about it.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…