At one point in the offseason, Geno Smith said he was not attending the Mark Sanchez-led Jets West Camp. Held every summer, members of the New York Jets head out to California for an informal training session before training camp begins. Smith insisted that he only said he was not attending because he did not know what the camp was. Sanchez said the invitation was extended to all players no matter. Well as Jets West kicks off, Smith is nowhere to be found.
It was assumed that Sanchez is not thrilled about the presence of Smith on the Jets' roster, no matter how professional he answers each question from the media. The quarterback can continue to say how thrilled he is with the rookie all he wants, but it is easy to see the truth. Once Smith found out about the camp, he told reporters that Sanchez had not officially extended an invitation to him, but he was sure he would be there. According to ESPN.com, Smith is not attending.
Jets West is intended as a team building camp for the offensive players. Sanchez uses the week to work with wide receivers and build chemistry essential for the season. Instead, Smith is opting to train on his own in Florida before reporting to training camp at the end of July. For those wanting to make a bigger deal out of the Jets' quarterback competition, Smith's absence could be the first sign of tension between the two players or it could be that Smith just works better on his own and wanted to stay close to home.
The Jets open training camp on July 25. While the quarterback situation was the spotlight of last year's camp with Tim Tebow, it will once again grab headlines after Smith was drafted in the second round earlier this year. Sanchez has been the starter since being drafted back in 2009 without anyone really challenging him for the position. However, in four years he has gone from good to bad to the worst, leaving coaches to question his spot.
Smith is expected to be in the running for the starting job. Head coach Rex Ryan insists that the competition is nowhere near complete, but that the team hopes to name a starter sooner rather than later. Both quarterbacks are learning a new system under coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and whoever stands out the most in training camp will get the top spot.