New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Rex Ryan: It's 'way too early' to name starting QB
Don’t expect the Jets to name their new QB any time soon, said Rex Ryan.
Despite speculation that he could choose Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith as his starter within the next week or so, Ryan said: “I don’t think we’re close to that right now.”
“Obviously, you don’t have to make that move, but until we feel 100 percent comfortable with that decision, then we’ll just leave it to competition.”
Sanchez again insisted Wednesday that he’s having “one of my best offseasons” – although neither QB looked particularly sharp during Wednesday’s practice, where the focus primarily was on red-zone efficiency.
Publicly, Sanchez seems unnerved by the QB competition with Smith. “I'm apathetic to it,” the incumbent said nonchalantly.
Last week, Ryan highlighted Sanchez’s shaky confidence in 2012. But the coach said Wednesday that the fourth-year QB has put the past behind him. “When you come back, you have to erase the computer," said Ryan. "...and Mark's done that.”
Smith, on the other hand, makes up for his lack of NFL experience with an unflappable nature. By all accounts, the second-round pick is hitting the playbook hard and impressing his peers with his leadership skills.
"Sometimes you want to see when a young quarterback comes in, is it too big for him," Ryan said of the former Mountaineer. “I don't think it's too big for him...I think he's doing a great job. He can throw it with anybody.”
But it’s far too soon to know which player will take the field in Week 1, the coach said. And Ryan won’t venture to guess which QB is currently in the lead.
“It’s way too early to say,” he said. ‘Some days, this guy looks good. Some days this guy looks good.”
"...It's a long process. Like I said, once it's totally 100 percent clear who the guy is, then we can look at making that decision. Then I can make that decision. But right now, tihs is just the early stages of it. I think there is a long way to go. I think I'll be a lot more comfortable seeing guys in a live situation also."
"For me to make the decision, to say the competition is over, it's going to have to be 100 percent clear to me. And if it's not, then we're going to keep competing until whenever."
And if it's a tie?
"We'll do what we normally do," Ryan joked. "Flip a coin and say that's pretty much it."