Tomorrow night begins the first major step in the quarterback competition. Mark Sanchez will start against the Lions tomorrow night, and Geno Smith will spend time on the field with the starting unit as well. Getting on the field at game speed will be the first hurdle for both of these guys.
We talked yesterday about the fan base overreacting to who is starting. You know who isn’t overreacting? The two quarterbacks. Here is Geno Smith on his reaction to Mark being named the starter:
I didn’t have any. The reps have been split. That’s kind of the way practices have been going. My job is just to take care of my reps that come on Friday. I don’t have any reaction towards it, the competition is still open. I’m just continuing to work and to grow.
Even after being pressed, Geno was asked if Mark Sanchez earned the first start, he continued to take things in stride:
Of course, of course. I fully back Mark, I fully back the coaches’ decisions. Like I said, I’m all about helping this team grow, helping us win. Once they came out with decision that he will start the first preseason game, like I said, I didn’t have any reaction to it. The only thing that I’m focusing on is making sure I’m prepared for the plays that I get in the game.
This is what Mark had to say about being named the starter for Friday night:
It felt good, I mean it felt like the natural thing. Something I have been used too so it didn’t really change my approach or anything, but I feel good about, I’m ready to go.
Mark had no doubts that he would be starting:
No, I mean I just don’t think about not playing ever, so that really doesn’t affect the way I approach things, the way I go to practice, (or) the way I play. These preseason games are a part of camp and (I have to) keep doing the right thing, keep taking care of the football and having a good camp.
No matter who you are rooting for, Mark’s confidence can only be interpreted as good. You want a leader to be confident in himself, and Mark at least sounds like he has regained some of his confident.
Both of these quarterbacks are keeping their eyes on the ball, no pun intended. They aren’t putting too much stock into which one is starting tomorrow night. We shouldn’t either.