FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Geno Smith is totally cool with camping out with Mark Sanchez.
The New York Jets’ rookie quarterback clarified his “no comment” responses from Wednesday — that seemed to suggest there could be some tension between the two guys competing for the starting job — when asked if he would join Sanchez’s “Jets West” workouts next month normally held at Mission Viejo High School.
“Myself and Mark had never discussed that,” Smith said Thursday after the team completed its three-day minicamp. “It kind of caught me off guard because it’s not on my schedule or anything. So, I was like, `What is Jets West?’
“Basically, I didn’t comment because I was always taught that if you don’t know exactly what you’re answering about not to comment on it. We haven’t talked about it, but from my understanding, it’s something that’s done annually and all the guys go out there and it’s a great event.”
Sanchez usually invites all of the team’s offensive skill players to spend a week working out together at his alma mater, and to bond as teammates as they wait for training camp to begin.
While Smith said that Sanchez hadn’t “officially extended the hand to me,” he insisted that there’s “no problem there” between the two.
“I’m more than willing to go there, get some work, work with the guys and do all that stuff because it helps team bonding,” Smith said. “I fully support that.”
With Smith and Sanchez locked in such a tight competition, some wondered Wednesday if the second-round draft pick planned to go.
“No comment,” Smith said curiously.
He was then asked why he wouldn’t comment.
“I’d rather not comment on that,” he said, raising a few more eyebrows.
He offered no comment again when asked if he had been invited. Sanchez didn’t want to discuss “Jets West” on Wednesday, saying his focus was only on minicamp, but did add that “everyone’s always been invited.”
Both Sanchez and Smith have said all the right things during the offseason, complimenting each other and never showing any signs or suggesting – other than the “no comment” this week – that there’s any rift between the two.
“Mark’s a great guy, and he welcomed me with open arms,” Smith said. “All of these guys have. I’ve never felt any type of negative vibe from him or any guys. That’s the good thing about being here, being a rookie and being a part of the Jets.
He added: “I get the opportunity to compete for a starting job, which is very rare, especially at this position, and I also have a great bunch of guys surrounding me who are helping me and who are also pushing me and motivating me on the practice field.”
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