No. 6 Says He 'Earned The Right To Start' Preseason Opener

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Move over, rookie.

Incumbent starter Mark Sanchez has a “slight” lead over Geno Smith in the Jets’ quarterback competition, according to Metro New York.

“Right now, Sanchez has a lead,” a team source told the paper. “It isn’t a huge lead and internally, I can tell you that the lead has gotten smaller and tighter.”

Jets coach Rex Ryan announced this week that Sanchez would start Friday’s preseason opener in Detroit.

“You have to ask the coaches, but I feel like I’m putting together a good camp,” Sanchez said Wednesday. “I think I earned the right to start this first game and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Metro’s source said Sanchez has “shown a command of the offense and is making better decisions.”

That’s not a knock on Smith, who has been sharp at SUNY Cortland in his first training camp: “Smith has done a tremendous job of closing the gap. A month ago, it wasn’t a contest, but he still hasn’t overtaken Sanchez. It has gotten closer and tighter.”

Smith, the team’s second-round pick out of West Virginia, was still expected to get snaps with the first-team offense Friday.

“I fully back Mark,” Smith said. “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.”

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]