FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It could be weeks -- perhaps even months -- before the Jets' quarterback competition is decided. But Thursday, Mark Sanchez made it clear the job is his.
"I'm planning on playing, I'm planning on starting,'' the fifth-year quarterback said when asked about the possibility of being passed over for rookie Geno Smith. " . . . I don't plan on that happening.''
Despite his well-documented struggles the past two seasons, Sanchez said he's having the "best offseason'' of his career, adding that his confidence and completion percentage are higher than they have been in recent memory.
"I just feel comfortable,'' he said. "Accuracy-wise, I just feel great.''
Although Sanchez couldn't think of his completion percentage off the top of his head, he stressed "it's where I want it to be.'' Rex Ryan also couldn't pinpoint Sanchez's improved accuracy.
"I think he's done a nice job this offseason. I think he's in great shape. Is he more accurate with the football?'' Ryan said before pausing for several seconds.
"I'm not sure what the numbers will say. I really don't know. But I feel that he's got a confidence about him. It's safe to say that maybe some of his confidence was shaken a little bit last year. But I think he's feeling good about himself.''
Smith took a different tack when discussing the possibility of not getting the starting job.
"That's not for me to decide,'' said the former West Virginia star, who was taken 39th overall in the April draft. "I just go out there and work hard.''
Ryan, however, said Smith's refusal to tout himself as the Game 1 starter doesn't mean the rookie doesn't want the job.
"I see this team really helping each other and encouraging each other. But at the end of the day . . . you want to be the guy. You want to be the guy that gets the nod,'' said Ryan, who added that Smith also has worked with the first-team offense during OTAs.
"And I don't think there's any doubt -- whether Geno said that or not -- I'm pretty sure he wants to win the job.''
Ryan also defended the Jets' decision to sign running back Mike Goodson, who is facing five weapons and drugs charges stemming from his May 17 arrest.
"We do our due diligence,'' Ryan said. "So I'm sure we know about all of our players. Not just Mike. All of our players.''
Goodson didn't speak to reporters, on advice from his attorney.