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Sanchez not playing 'mental gymnastics' over Geno’s progress

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez talks with reporters during

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez talks with reporters during training camp. (Aug. 2, 2013) Credit: Hans Pennink

CORTLAND – Mark Sanchez said he’s too busy to worry about keeping pace with Geno Smith.

After a run-heavy Friday practice, in which the focus was on short yardage and goal-line situations, Sanchez said all he cares about his how his given practice group (whether it be the first or second team, depending on the day) is faring.

“I’m not worried about, ‘OK, Geno converted this many short-yardage plays.’ I don’t really care about that,” he said, after going 3-for-6 with a touchdown and sack. “…It takes up too much time. There are too much mental gymnastics going on, you have plenty of other stuff in your head. So, I’m just worried about the group I’m in and converting our drills.”

It’s obvious Sanchez was telling the truth about his lack of interest in Smith. While discussing the offense’s performance on Friday, he erroneously credited Matt Simms with a touchdown – and not Smith, who threw touchdowns to both Bilal Powell and Konrad Reuland on rollouts.

“The defense won the goal-line drill,” Sanchez said. “I think we threw one touchdown. I know I had one to Hayden (Smith). I don’t know if there were anymore. I think Simmsy might have had one.”

Smith finished 3-for-3, with two sacks in addition to his two TDs.

“I think it went well,” said the rookie, who delivered a 40-yard downfield bomb to Powell to the delight of the crowd. “…But you can’t really tell until you actually go into the film room.”

Calvin Pace and Damon Harrison (who took first-team reps Friday) closed in on Smith just before the QB made his same eye-catching throw to Powell. “That play is one where we, in the playbook, get a deep drop so you can have enough time where if you’ve got a free rusher, hey, you may get hit but you’ll have enough time to get the ball off,” Smith said.

As for his propensity for holding on to the ball a little too long, Smith said: “It’s kind of difficult to really get that sense of it because you’re not taking real hits. Obviously the offensive linemen can’t cut guys and running backs can’t cut guys, which is something they would use as a tactical way to get those guys on the ground because they are great pass rushers.” 

Rex Ryan said the rookie showed poise on the play.

"It was a great play," said the Jets coach. "(Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has) been setting us up the whole time. Setting that defense up with this pass, this pass, now he turned it up. Got a flag on the play also, we (the defense) grabbed the receiver. It was a great play. Great design by Marty and well executed by the offense."

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