Despite being turnover prone, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez appears to be the locker room favorite to win the quarterback competition against rookie second round pick Geno Smith. Not only that, but center Nick Mangold went out of his way to talk Sanchez up to the media.
The locker room can credit Sanchez for showing "flashes" all they want, but the bottom line is that Sanchez's rep is on tape. We can pull up the turnovers, butt fumbles, hot dog eating on the sideline and his overall dejected demeanor when things go sour (which is usually).
The obvious question here is whether the belief in Sanchez is really that, or more of a disbelief in young Geno. Smith was drafted because Sanchez's contract got former general manager Mike Tannenbaum fired.
Mangold, via the New York Post:
“I believe so,” Mangold said to the New York Post when asked if the rest of the locker room hopes Sanchez wins the job. “I haven’t walked around with a pen and paper and taken a poll, but from the feeling I get, the locker room wants to win. Whoever gives us the best chance to do that, we want out there — and at this point, Mark gives us that best chance.”
“I think Mark is a fantastic quarterback for us, and I think he can do some good things,” Mangold said. “He showed some good flashes in the spring, getting [new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s] system down and commanding the offense way that he should be. We’ll see how training camp plays out, but either way, the competition will make him a better player.”
But it would seem strange to draft a quarterback in the second round, only to have him sit behind a turnover machine that he's unlikely to learn a lot from. The locker room opinion isn't going to go far in this discussion, because new management would probably like to see a lot of those guys disappear anyway.
And if the Jets players, assuming they paid attention to the 2012 season, still have faith in Mark Sanchez, then there's a bridge here in Houston I'd like to sell them, too.