The New York Jets announced on Monday the signing of rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Officially a Jet, Smith believes he has a "great shot" at beating Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, the latest indications point toward coach Rex Ryan starting Mark Sanchez for Week 1.
Smith signed a four-year deal worth approximately $5 million, ESPN reported. The second-round pick out of West Virginia is confident he can supplant Sanchez as the team's starter under center. He shared his confidence with the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette over the weekend (via the Washington Post).
"I'm prepared," said. "I'm just getting better daily. I've improved so much from the time the [Pinstripe Bowl] ended [in December] to now. I continue to improve steadily.
"I feel like I have a great shot [at the Jets' starting job]. I did a pretty good job overall of just adapting to the system and playbook and felt very comfortable with it by the end of OTAs and mandatory camp."
Sanchez said he welcomed the competition and doesn't think he'll lose the starting job. Ryan seemingly agreed with Sanchez and implied Smith isn't ready to take the reins.
"(Smith) came from a system that primarily was a shotgun system," Ryan said, via the Post. "His steps, drop backs [and] his mechanics that way, footwork-wise, weren't dialed in the way they'll have to be at this level. It's all new to him."
Ryan's comments echo those of Jets offensive lineman Nick Mangold, who said in June that Sanchez gives the team the best chance to win.
Sanchez has never had to compete for his job against someone as talented as Smith. Although Smith may not end up starting Week 1, his presence has seemingly lit a fire under Sanchez and is pushing the 26-year-old to work even harder.
"I like our quarterback situation much better than I did the first year I was here," Ryan said of when Sanchez had only Kellen Clemens to compete against, according to NY Daily News.
Ryan isn't expected to announce a starter until after training camp.
Jets training camp begins on Friday, July 26.