Rex Ryan says he hasn't lost confidence in QB Mark Sanchez

Ryan knows as much about the Jets' QB situation as you do (Getty Images)
Ryan knows as much about the Jets' QB situation as you do. (Getty Images)
Three weeks into March and here's what the Jets' quarterback situation looks like (in random, sad order): Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Greg McElroy, Tim Tebow, Matt Simms. It's enough to make you think New York would seriously consider taking a quarterback with the ninth-overall pick in April's draft -- except that unlike last year's QB crop, the 2013 version can kindly be described as underwhelming.

So the plan, for now, is to open it up to all comers and hope against hope that a half-competent option magically materializes. Coach Rex Ryan confirmed as much Friday after he admitted that he didn't have a gut feeling about who would be his starter next season.

“I think it’s going to be a position, obviously, where we’re bringing in competition,” Ryan said on ESPN Radio (via PFT). “I don’t think there’s a clear-cut favorite in my opinion. I just think it’s going to be competition from Day 1. Sanchez will take the first snap, but that’s all you can say. It’s going to be an open competition.”

Ryan then offered up his nominee for "most obvious statement ever uttered" when he said the Jets' have to improve at quarterback (just in case Sanchez's NFL-worst ranking didn't make that clear).

“I haven’t lost confidence in Mark," said Ryan, who clearly lost confidence in Mark when he benched him for McElroy last season. "But I do know this: The play at quarterback has to get better. There’s no doubt. Whether it’s Mark or someone else, we know we have to improve in that area without a doubt. I guess we can file that in the ‘no kidding’ category, but that’s it: It has to get better. I believe that Mark will get a lot better but I also believe there’s going to be stiffer competition than there was in past years.”

Regarding "someone else," speculation has included Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, who is expected to be released this offseason. Earlier this month, the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta tweeted that "If price is right, [Kolb will] be on Jets ... and likely Week 1 starter."

Good news, though: Ryan doesn't consider this a rebuilding year. Far from it, in fact, based on his annual "we're not as bad as we look" press conference from this January: "We are going to be a dangerous football team," he said at the time. "I can promise you that. How many wins and all that, I don't know. But I'm gonna tell you: You're not gonna want to play the New York Jets."

So there's that to look forward to. Just be thankful the Jets didn't again solicit personnel advice via Twitter.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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