The New York Jets didn't draft Geno Smith in the second round to sit on the bench very long.
Mark Sanchez doesn't care. In a comment to ESPNNewYork.com, Sanchez made it clear that he is prepared for a heated competition and he's ready to beat out Smith for the quarterback job.
"When it's a straight-up competition for the job, let's roll," Sanchez told ESPNNewYork.com. "It really doesn't bother me at all. It really doesn't affect my confidence or anything like that. We're competing for something. All right, I'm going to win. That's just how I am."
Sanchez has been a punchline for the last couple years for his struggles, but this line of thinking should get respect from anyone who has competed.
Of course Sanchez doesn't want to give over his job, and there's nothing wrong with him vocalizing that. It would be way, way more concerning if he didn't have that attitude.
The question is if he can hold off Smith. Sanchez's issues have been well documented, but the ESPN report says it was clear Sanchez outplayed him in offseason practices. That shouldn't be too surprising considering Smith is a rookie (and one that has his own negative publicity this offseason).
If Sanchez has a terrible training camp or has the same issues with turnovers early in the season that have troubled him through his career, the Jets might decide that they might as well let Smith learn on the job. Smith had moments at West Virginia where he looked the part of a franchise quarterback.
Smith will need to be pretty good at training camp if he wants to unseat Sanchez by the season opener, because Sanchez isn't ready to step aside.