Smith will make his first start of the preseason a week after missing a game against the Jaguars with an ankle injury while Mark Sanchez will come off the bench and play later in the game. The start will give Smith a chance to play with the first team offense and his performance should loom large in the Jets’ ultimate decision about who their starter will be this season.
Ryan said that decision could take another week and quarterbacks coach David Lee said the competition would have to extend through the fourth game for Smith to emerge victorious, but that there was no way a starter would be named before Smith got a shot at running the starting offense.
“Right now is not the appropriate time to name a starter, because it’s incomplete,” Ryan said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
There were no details from Ryan about how long each quarterback would play on Saturday nor was there a specific explanation about what Smith needs to do to win the job. Given Sanchez’s issues with turnovers over the last two years, not handing the ball to the opposition would be a good place for the rookie to start making his case.