Mark Sanchez told the NFL Network on Thursday that he believed he had won the New York Jets' starting quarterback job before he got hurt in the third exhibition game Aug. 24, when Geno Smith threw three interceptions before head coach Ryan put Sanchez into the game behind third-stringers in the fourth quarter of a win over the Giants.
"I think, as a competitor, I guess that's what you expect," Ryan said when asked about Sanchez's comments Friday. "I think with any competitor, you want your players to believe that. And if you don't believe in yourself, then nobody else will. I certainly would expect that from any competitor (to) think that they're winning the job."
Ryan said Sanchez's belief he had won the job is his own opinion.
"Well, I never said he won the competition. I didn't say that," said Ryan.
Ryan reiterated that it's an "ongoing competition," even though Sanchez is expected to miss at least another few weeks.
"I know he's working his tail off to get back and I think that's where we're at," Ryan said of Sanchez. "So, I know he's trying his best to get back on the field. So far I know our trainers are pleased with his rehab and we'll see what happens."