No matter how hard they may try, the New York Jets seem incapable of dislodging Mark Sanchez from their starting quarterback job. On Thursday the Jets announced that Sanchez would start the team’s second preseason game, against the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old Sanchez appears to have taken the lead over rookie Geno Smith in the team’s quarterback competition, despite the team seeming to do everything it can to hand Smith the job. Smith reportedly had a “brutal” day of practice on Wednesday and that apparently solidified Sanchez’s hold on the first-team job.
During the Jets’ first preseason game last Friday, Sanchez opened the game with a horrendous play that resulted in an interception by Detroit Lions rookie Ezekiel Ansah, which was returned for a touchdown. After that, Sanchez settled down and actually looked really good. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Smith injured his right ankle during the game, but managed to complete six of seven passes for 47 yards before departing the contest.
Sanchez is entering his fifth season in the NFL and has been the Jets’ starting quarterback since he entered the league. It seems like he’s been battling for his job since the day he was drafted. The Jets have failed to surround him with solid playmakers or a decent offensive line, and that has greatly contributed to his struggles. That said, Sanchez has rarely, if ever stepped up to overcome adversity.
There is little doubt that Sanchez possesses the necessary tools to be a franchise-type quarterback in the NFL. The problem is that he has never put them all together and performed like one.
As of now it appears the job is his to lose, but don’t be surprised if the Jets keep pushing Smith to steal the gig away.