Jets News

A New York Jets Quarterback Competition? Finally!

By Alan Schechter
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May 22, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (left) greets teammate Geno Smith (right) during organized team activities at the New York Jets training facility. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

There they are, ladies and gentlemen of TJP. Your competitors for the 2013 starting quarterback competition, Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. Yes you have Greg McElroy and Matt Simms as well, but I think we can all agree that these guys are on the outside looking in. The “main event”, if you will, is Mark vs. Geno. For what it’s worth, both guys are ready to go. First, here is Mark on the current situation:

I’m having a great time. I’m in an awesome situation. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. That’s how I always feel. I just have a positive attitude. I’m trying to bring those guys along, get guys working hard, study my butt off and prepare each day. Whether it’s a competition or whatever you call it, I’m going to be ready. I’m going to give it my best, feel good about it and move on. Anything on the outside, I just can’t help. We talked about it last week, whether it’s criticism about this or that, or what you’re wearing or who you’re seeing, who cares? Honestly, who cares? I’m just worried about moving the ball downfield trying to hit where I’m aiming at, getting the ball in the end zone, advancing the team and making good decisions. Other than that, sorry

And here is Geno about how the competition feels on the practice field so far:

Yes, it does. Every single day in practice we compete hard. Not just on team periods, but it’s in walkthroughs. It’s in individual periods, it’s in everything. That’s the nature of the game. It’s just good to have a guy like Mark who’s welcome to teaching me things, he’s open to the completion. He’s great spirited about it. It really allows us to get along off the field, but on the field still compete and still fight for the job.

Whether you are a part of the vast majority that wants to see Geno Smith win the job, or if you are on my bandwagon, the last of the minority that wants to see Mark one last time, we are all in agreement on one thing. This is finally going to be a great competition. These two guys are going to battle, and battle hard. This one will take some time to decide the winner.

May 22, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) talks with quarterback Geno Smith during organized team activities at the New York Jets training facility. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

First you have two guys that are handling it the ABSOLUTE right way. They are confident, which is what you want from a prospective starting quarterback. Whether you are talking to the incumbent or the challenger, you want them to emote confidence, which both these guys are doing.

They are also helping each other, in the spirit of competition. The cordiality between these two players is admirable, despite the fact that they are fighting for the same position. Many of you that don’t like Mark probably don’t want to hear that he is teaching Geno anything, but I think we can all agree that it’s the right thing. But, make no mistake about it, these guys want it, and they are going to battle.

As we look back through the years, we haven’t had the opportunity to have a really legitimate competition for the QB spot in a long time. We have expected some, but they never really came to pass, let’s look back:

PENNINGTON VS CLEMENS: Remember when the “brilliant” Mel Kiper Jr tried to convince us that Kellen Clemens was the pick of the litter in that 2006 QB draft? How did that work out? Pennington wiped him out, on his way to a 10-6 record and a Comeback Player of the Year award.

SANCHEZ VS CLEMENS: Technically, you had a veteran going against a rookie, but after the mega trade that brought Sanchez to NY, did anyone really believe that he wasn’t going to start week 1 in 2009?

SANCHEZ VS TEBOW: This is not to get anyone annoyed, just a brief historical reminder. Despite all of the rancor that this would be a great competition, this was not even close to what we had. It was another year in paradise with Mark Sanchez.

The fact is, I can’t remember the last time the Jets had a great QB competition. Maybe some of my readers that remember Richard Todd vs Matt Robinson could comment. But now, we have a competition with guys that are learning from each other, yet want it and want it bad!

Have fun, this is going to be good.

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