A day after first-year Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg reportedly wanted rookie quarterback Geno Smith to start over veteran Mark Sanchez in Week 1 of the regular season, coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik also prefer Smith to Sanchez, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.
According to Mehta, "Ryan, Idzik and much of the team's key decision makers are on board with moving on from Sanchez," the team's first-round pick in 2009 who has been one of the league's worst quarterbacks in recent seasons.
Ryan hasn't officially named a starter, although Smith will almost certainly be under center for the Week 1 opener while Sanchez recovers from a shoulder injury he suffered during the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game.
Although Ryan maintains that "wanting to win" and "competition" explain why Sanchez was on the field, Mehta reports that "The Jets were so impressed with Smith in the first couple weeks of training camp that Ryan was set to name him the Week 1 starter before the rookie suffered an ankle injury in the preseason opener."
The plan was to have Smith start the second preseason game against the Jaguars and, barring an implosion, give him the job going forward. But Smith's ankle injury sidelined him against Jacksonville, and Sanchez got the nod. Still, Mehta writes, "Despite Sanchez's sharp practices, the brain trust simply doesn't fully trust the fifth-year veteran and have grown tired of his repeated red-zone mistakes."
And while Smith isn't without his warts -- he was uneven in the Week 3 preseason game against the Giants, which included three interceptions and an unprompted safety -- the thinking is that Mornhinweg will be able to get the most out of Smith, whose potential remains largely untapped. Whereas Sanchez looks to be the very same guy who has committed 52 turnovers the last two seasons.