New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez played horribly at the team’s first open practice. Sanchez threw three interceptions and drew the disdain of head coach Rex Ryan, who, according to NFL.com, called the interceptions “unacceptable.”
The worst of the trio was a toss to Jets nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison. Assigned to cover the running back on the play, “Snacks” easily caught the ball because it was thrown directly to him.
In line to earn $8.25 million this season, Sanchez is considered the favourite to win the Jets quarterback battle. Competing against third-year player Greg McElroy and rookies Geno Smith and Matt Simms, the Jets have few choices. Combine Sanchez’s inept play with his fat contract and he is utterly immovable. The starting role is his to lose.
More practices like Wednesday’s might do the trick. Smith, selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL and represented by Jay-Z’s sporting agency, likely holds the best chance to unseat Sanchez. The former West Virginia University quarterback threw 42 touchdowns to only six interceptions his senior year but fell to the second round following uninspiring interviews and a particularly scathing review from Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki.
There is precedent for unheralded rookie quarterbacks winning the Week 1 starting job. Last season Russell Wilson won the Seattle Seahawks starting job after being drafted in the third round. Wilson led the Seahawks to playoffs with an 11-5 record and injected his name into the conversation of best rookie quarterbacks.
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