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Mark Sanchez in 'awesome situation,' could win Jets QB gig by default?

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are just having a real good time. (USATSI)
Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are just having a real good time. (USATSI)

Most of the reviews surrounding the Jets quarterback situation throughout this offseason have not been ... good. It's only OTAs, but you still don't want your incumbent and your rookie cranking out interceptions like they're Rex Ryan guarantees.

And yet, here we are with Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, and no one's distinguished themselves from the crowd (save for Sanchez' interesting headband choice). But that isn't keeping the Sanchize from remaining optimistic -- he even went so far as to say he's "in an awesome situation."

"I'm having a great time. I'm in an awesome situation," Sanchez said after practice this past weekend. "I'm the luckiest guy in the world. That's how I always feel. I just have a positive attitude. I'm trying to bring those guys along, get guys working hard, study my butt off and prepare each day. Whether it's a competition or whatever you call it, I'm going to be ready. I'm going to give it my best, feel good about it and move on."

That's probably the best attitude Sanchez could possibly take. I mean, honestly, it's not like he can come out and mope and get down about throwing picks. Doing that would only bring on more criticism from the outside; his best move might simply be to say "eff the critics" and just go out and wing the ball.

Which is apparently what he's doing.

"Anything on the outside, I just can't help. We talked about it last week, whether it's criticism about this or that, or what you're wearing or who you're seeing, who cares?" Sanchez said. "Honestly, who cares? I'm just worried about moving the ball downfield trying to hit where I'm aiming at, getting the ball in the end zone, advancing the team and making good decisions. Other than that, sorry."

Maybe the reason Sanchez is sorry that he's not sorry is potential security with the starting quarterback job.

When David Garrard decided to retire, the Jets found themselves essentially stuck with Sanchez -- cutting him despite his silly contract and cap number was no longer a viable option unless they wanted to be all in on Geno. Clearly, they don't.

And Rich Cimini of ESPN New York writes that Geno hasn't "blown anybody away" and that from what he hears, Sanchez is essentially backing his way into the starting gig barring an extraordinary performance from Smith leading up to the start of the season.

Honestly, the Jets should start Sanchez. I'm always on board with throwing the young guy into the fray and letting him learn on the gig, but there's a disaster waiting for Smith if he's not ready, both in terms of on- and off-field landmines.

At least with Sanchez he can be a sacrificial lamb for a rebuilding Jets team. If he can recapture some of the success that helped him manage the offense to a pair of AFC Championship Games then it's gravy. Otherwise there's always Geno waiting in the wings.

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