Believe it or not, Mark Sanchez is not quite setting the world on fire at Jets training camp. He was so bad at yesterday's practice, in fact, that he got booed by fans in attendance. But at least he still has defenders!
This is a representative tweet of Sanchez's showing in a Saturday scrimmage:
To sum up Sanchez's night, he has fallen flat on his butt, thrown an INT, overthrown wide-open Gates at the goal line and been roundly booed— Ben Shpigel (@benshpigel) August 3, 2013
The boos from the crowd earned Sanchez defenses from both teammate and columnist alike. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who intercepted the pass that prompted the boos, told the New York Post that the boos were "bullcrap," adding that, "(Sanchez is) our quarterback. Geno’s our quarterback and they’re in competition. You don’t come out here and boo anybody." New York Daily News beat writer Manish Mehta went even hotter with his take:
Anyone that boos Mark Sanchez (or any player for that matter) during intrasquad scrimmage in training camp isn't a fan. It's classless #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 4, 2013
It is the prerogative of the Jets fan to do whatever it is she wants, Manish Mehta's assessments of fan-ness be damned, but the early reports from camp seem to suggest Geno Smith is about as good as Sanchez. And with Smith having the edges of youth and a distinct lack of psychic damage done to the fan base, it's no surprise that most Jets fans have already picked the winner of their team's quarterback competition—if all other things are equal, why wouldn't Jets fans want the new QB for newness alone?
Most amusingly, the nebulous embrace of poise that got Sanchez praised early in his career may also help usher him out of the starter's job. Rex Ryan has praised Smith's poise, and ESPN's Rich Cimini provided calorie-free analysis of the competition yesterday on SportsCenter, mentioning Smith's poise (and no tangible assets for either quarterback) while calling the race a dead heat. With the poise brigade willing to bestow that trait on Sanchez's competition for a change, he may be deposed before long.
Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP