The New York Jets have one of the most intriguing quarterback competitions heading in to this year’s training camps. The team spent a second-round pick on Geno Smith, while incumbent starter Mark Sanchez has struggled mightily throughout his NFL career. Sanchez may have the inside track to start the season because of his experience, but there is one issue that is holding him back.
Former New York Jets/San Diego Chargers running back and Future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlison sounded off on what is holding Sanchez back, and he doesn’t think that it is a lack of skill.
“Mark has to start to trust himself. Mark does a great job in the film room but when he comes out on the field, he doesn’t trust what he sees out there in terms of coverages and the timing with his receivers,” Tomlinson said, via the New York Post. “If he starts to trust himself and not hesitate in throwing the football, then he possibly could turn his career around. I think it’ll be tough at this point because rarely does a zebra change his stripes.”
Tomlinson went on to say that he thinks Sanchez will start the season, but he has to be looking over his shoulder if he continues to struggle early on in the season.
“Early on, we probably will see Sanchez take the snaps at the starting spot,” Tomlinson said. “But here’s the thing: in preseason, if Mark Sanchez doesn’t show the ability to improve from turning the football over and that race is close between the two, Geno Smith will be the starter.”
There is no doubt that Sanchez lacks confidence, but a large part of that is the media that has been trashing him for the past few seasons.
Of course, Sanchez deserves the criticism that he is getting, so he will need to get his mind right and put together an impressive training camp and preseason if he wants to continue being a starter in this league — especially for the Jets.
The time to step up as a leader is now.