2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jets' Sanchez, Smith not sharp early in QB battle

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. - AP Sports Writer
    2013-05-22 17:52

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions, and Geno Smith talked about all the improvements he needs to make.

Yeah, this New York Jets' quarterback competition sure has a long way to go.

It's early, but the two quarterbacks considered the front-runners for the starting job didn't exactly impress Wednesday during the Jets' first practice of organized team activities open to the media. And, count coach Rex Ryan among those who wasn't particularly thrilled with what he saw.

``I want there to be a sense of urgency with this football team to protect this football,'' Ryan said. ``Above anything else, protect the football and, along those lines, protect the quarterback. I think that's critical.''

Sanchez has certainly struggled with that throughout his career, and particularly the last two seasons in which he has 52 turnovers. On one interception in practice, big defensive lineman Damon Harrison pulled the ball out of the air near the line of scrimmage, causing Sanchez to shake his head in disgust.

``Of all people, freakin' Snacks,'' said a grinning Sanchez, referring to the nickname for the 350-pound Harrison. ``That's like your worst nightmare.''

For the Jets, too.

``That's one you've just got to throw it away,'' Ryan said. ``I prefer he gets rid of it and throws it away or runs with it.''

And, they've seen bad plays way too often for a player once deemed as a franchise quarterback who went No. 5 overall in the 2009 draft. While it's extremely early in the offseason program and Ryan says both Sanchez and Smith did ``good things,'' the Jets coach added that it's ``disappointing'' to see the veteran turn the ball over.

``That's going to be the pressure that we're putting on him that, `no, this is unacceptable,''' Ryan said. ``He did a lot of great things, and it's not that you try to cover up the fact you had some bad plays. No, no, no, you flat tell him: `We can't have these,' and all that type of stuff. He knows.''

Again, this is hardly the scorching heat of a training camp quarterback competition. Not yet, anyway. But offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has made it clear that every throw, every play will factor in the team's ultimate decision on who will be under center when the team opens the season against Tampa Bay in September.

Mornhinweg also would like to see one quarterback emerge quickly as the likely starter, and hasn't ruled out having named one by training camp.

While Greg McElroy and Matt Simms are also on the roster, it is generally believed Sanchez and Smith will be the main competitors for the job, especially with David Garrard retiring because of a lingering knee issue. Sanchez and Smith took the majority of snaps - about 80 percent of them - on Wednesday.

``I'm shaking the rust off a little bit,'' Sanchez said, ``getting back into the swing of things, especially with a lot of young guys.''

That likely played some role in the offense looking, in Ryan's words, a bit ``like a Chinese fire drill.'' The Jets were without Santonio Holmes (foot), Stephen Hill (knee), Clyde Gates (hamstring) and Jordan White (undisclosed) during the practice session.

Still, Sanchez said Mornhinweg was pleased with ``95 percent'' of what he did Wednesday. He also credited quarterbacks coach David Lee with improving his footwork.

``I just really feel like this coaching staff will get the best out of me,'' Sanchez said.

Meanwhile, Smith showed some nice zip on his passes but misfired at times, too. His one interception wasn't all his fault, though, as it came on a pass that probably should've been caught by Thomas Mayo but was tipped twice and picked off by linebacker Garrett McIntyre.

``I've got to put it on him,'' Smith said, blaming himself and not the receiver. ``I put the ball a little bit too high. It's something I'll correct, but it just takes time.''

As is learning a new offensive system. While Sanchez has a little bit of familiarity with Mornhinweg's West Coast-style system, it's something entirely new for Smith, the former West Virginia star who set a slew of school records during his Mountaineers career.

``It's just a total difference,'' he said. ``Going from being more in the shotgun, pistol sets, to primarily being under center and running more of a West Coast offense. It just takes reps. ... It's just a process. I've been working hard at it, but there's still lots of work to do.''

Smith acknowledged that he was thinking more rather than just reacting during rookie minicamp two weeks ago, but is feeling more comfortable now with the playbook. He has been leaning a lot on Mornhinweg, Lee and offensive intern Tony Sparano Jr., son of the former offensive coordinator who was fired after last season.

``As far as my game goes,'' Smith said, ``every single thing needs to improve.''

Ryan said Smith had his ``ups and downs'' during practice, but added that it's all very early in the process before the Jets decide on a winner. Both Sanchez and Smith realize that, too.

``There's going to be competition,'' Ryan said. ``There's no doubt. Today was one of the early stages in that.''

---

NOTES: Ryan said he doesn't believe Holmes, who was at practice but didn't participate, will be ready to fully take part in minicamp next month but possibly by training camp. Holmes missed most of last season with a severe foot injury that required surgery. ... Ryan didn't want to comment on Garrard, saying he would wait until the QB's retirement becomes official. ... Ryan praised S Dawan Landry, brother of former Jets S LaRon Landry who went to Indianapolis as a free agent. Ryan said Dawan Landry, whom he coached in Baltimore, is ``a really smart guy and really is running the show back there.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group