The all-important quarterback competition is heating up. Mark Sanchez has performed well, and Geno Smith is gaining a lot of momentum. It’s hard to say who is ahead at this early point, but needless to say, this competition is going to be a good one.
For the first time this summer, Marty Mornhinweg talked to the media yesterday, and he addressed this obviously important topic. What is he looking for in a starting quarterback:
There’s a lot of things that we’ll look for. Every position, and certainly the quarterback, will be evaluated every day, every play, every practice. Normally is what happens is one man significantly removes himself from the other fellows. So, when that happens, there’ll be a time where we’ll make that call. The tougher one is when it’s very, very close and so we’ll be ready for that and then you go on some gut instincts there.
He also confirmed that Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are going to split time with the first team every two days:
Yes, to start with. And then as we go, and listen, we communicate really I would say day-to-day but it’s almost hourly-to-hourly on virtually all positions and certainly the quarterback position. And so we’ll make adjustments as we go and how they progress but it’ll be to start with. Mark had the first two, Geno will have the second two, Mark the next two, and we’ll go from there.
Marty talked a little about the challenges that both Mark and Geno face in trying to earn the job:
Well, we’ve all seen Geno. First of all, he’s an outstanding young man. You all have met him I’m assuming, or at least most of you. Secondly, (he’s a) highly talented young man. The next thing would be (he’s a) very bright guy, certainly football-wise. (He’s a) very bright guy. We were just talking there about how quickly he’s progressed within the system. His challenge is to continue to progress so when he gets (an) opportunity to play in the Green and White and the preseason games he can go in and function at a high level. Now, Mark on the other hand, has a wealth of experience and his challenge is to play within our system at a high level, which he’s proven he can do, on a really a consistent basis. That’s his challenge.
Reading what Marty had to say, you have to take away from it that he is quite excited about Geno Smith. The implied tone regarding Mark is very “matter of fact”, while he seems genuinely pumped about Geno. By all accounts, he has looked sharp at training camp so far. I think the moral of the story is that Mark Sanchez had better watch his back, because the underdog is coming up fast.