Almost one week into New York Jets training camp and the starting quarterback battle between Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez is still a neck and neck race. The rookie has impressed the coaching staff with his grasp of Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast style offense, but Smith will need to gain some major headway in the weeks to come if he hopes to unseat the veteran Sanchez under center.
Head coach Rex Ryan applauded his top draft pick's precision passing, but urged the young signal-caller to make quicker decisions with the football.
"He's accurate with the football, noted Ryan of the rookie quarterback. "I think the big thing with him now, like he took a couple of sacks today and (I) said, ‘We've got to get rid of the ball.'Don't throw the picks but obviously we've got to get rid of it. (If) it's not there, we don't want to be taking sacks. So I think that's something where I think he can improve his game. But I have been impressed with the fact that he has not thrown a pick. That's certainly a real positive thing."
The Jets new West Coast offense is a strong departure from Ryan's signature ground and pound style, which makes training camp a crucial time for both quarterbacks to learn the nuances of a new system. Morhinweg's schemes are predicated on quick dropbacks and exact passing routes, but Ryan isn't ruling out the possibility of some good old smash mouth football mixed in.
"A lot of things are based on your personnel," admitted Ryan. "If you have a guy, that (offers) a run-pass-option (that) might be a great call in that situation, you're going to take it. If you've got guys that are built to smash it in there, then you go ahead and smash it in there."