David Garrard’s decision to throw in the towel on his bid to make the Jets because of a knee injury is the latest curveball in a quarterback competition that’s had plenty of them with months to go before the Jets ever play a game.
With Garrard out, it would seem that Mark Sanchez’s chances of sticking with the team into the 2013 season would improve since the team’s other quarterbacks all have little to no experience at the professional level. Sanchez addressed his role in what he called a “fierce” competition on Thursday — yes, he was wearing a headband at the time — and said it doesn’t feel any different to him than it did before Garrard’s announcement.
“Nothing’s changed. My mindset is the same,” Sanchez said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
While his chances of making the team might have improved, Sanchez’s answer makes plenty of sense. He was competing for the starting job against Garrard and company before, so Garrard’s departure just means that it is a slightly different cast of competitors as opposed to a completely different situation. Geno Smith, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms are still in camp and Sanchez still has to beat them out to get the nod for a fifth straight season.
Sanchez was also asked about Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith’s comment that he wouldn’t catch “a paper bag sandwich” thrown by Sanchez. Sanchez wished Smith and the Panthers well, which should pretty much end that storyline while the quarterback competition rages on.