The conventional wisdom was that Mark Sanchez’s best chance at keeping the Jets starting quarterback job was his familiarity with coach Rex Ryan.
But it seems that Ryan may have seen enough.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, citing sources, reports that Ryan is on board with General Manager John Idzik that it’s time to move on from Sanchez, and that “Ryan believes that Smith is the better option if healthy.”
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was previously on that train as well, which helps knowing they can build a plan around the limitations of a rookie.
Of course, Sanchez’s injury situation makes it a moot point for Week One, since he wasn’t expected to return for the opener because of his shoulder injury.
But this report says that Ryan was prepared to make Smith his starter before an ankle injury sidelined him in the preseason, which was followed by a “brutal” practice and some improved performances by Sanchez.
The whole thing smacks of Ryan realizing his own future is on the line this year, and that going with Smith at least gives him a chance to extend it. The next set of questions will be what they do with Sanchez, and whether it’s worth hanging onto an $8 million backup.