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EA Q&A: Sanchez, Smith Even

Posted Aug 6, 2013

Victor
Star, ID

Who has the lead in the quarterback competition? Mark or Geno?

EA: The separation the Jets are looking for hasn’t occurred yet and that was to be expected.   Live action is going to determine a lot and Geno Smith has not taken a pro snap yet.

While Mark Sanchez will get the start against the Lions Friday night, Smith will also get to take some snaps with the first unit.  The move was anticipated considering it’s close right now (Rex Ryan labeled it "even" on Tuesday) and Sanchez has four years of starting under his belt.

Early on in camp, Smith showcased his undeniable talent with a barrage of aerial strikes and some nifty runs.  His arm is powerful and his skill-set gives Marty Mornhinweg a lot of options.  Players told me Saturday night he had command of the huddle and that opening drive in the Green & White Scrimmage was most impressive.

But Sanchez, who missed a couple of throws in the scrimmage and was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie, threw a beautiful 57-yard scoring strike to Stephen Hill and then followed that pass up with two strong practices.  He has looked comfortable out here early week, throwing some of his best balls in camp and appearing decisive in the pocket.  

Hanzo Zer0™‏@HanzoZer0
Q: @eallenjets By when will we know who's the starting QB?

EA: While the Jets don’t have a timetable, I’m guessing a decision will be announced after the Jacksonville game or following that third preseason contest against the cross-town Giants.  I would think Smith will get the start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 17 and then we’ll where we are at.

Michael Pagano‏@mikey_pags21h
Q: Should it be a concern that (RB Chris) Ivory hasn't done much so far with his injury or it is a good thing for them to limit him?

EA: It is the first week of August and hamstrings can be tricky, so there is no reason to hurry Ivory back onto the field.  Everyone would love to see Ivory out there getting reps, but the Jets aren’t going to gamble here.  Bilal Powell, who incidentally is listed at the No. 1 back on the depth chart, has had an excellent camp and that first-unit offensive line looks really good.  The entire offense is better than last year and that includes the run game.

Once the 6’0”, 222-pound Ivory returns to action, Mornhinweg will have another weapon at his disposal.

"Here’s a big back (with) three percent body fat," Ryan said.  "He’s a pounder when he runs the football. I’ll lean on John (Mellody) and our training staff. When they say it’s time, that he’s good to go, then he’ll be good to go."

Angel Ramirez
Whitehall, PA
I have heard a lot of buzz with Stephen Hill this offseason. What is your take on his development from his rookie year till now, and also, predictions on his impact for the season coming up?

EA: It’s night and day.  Hill is a different player and a different person.  I urge everyone to watch Wednesday’s “Jets Talk LIVE” as we will feature a sit-down with Hill.  Already blessed with great physical tools, the game has slowed down for the 6'4", 215-pound wideout.  He has become a better route runner and he is playing without thinking what’s next.  I liked his long ball from Sanchez in the scrimmage, but I liked his third-down conversion from Geno Smith on the opening drive maybe even more.  You know Hill can go deep, but the first pass came on a slant and it was in traffic.  He might have dropped that pass last summer.  I think it’s realistic to think he could at least double his reception (21) and yards (252) from his rookie year.

Matt
Elkins, WV
Q: I was on eBay getting ready to purchase a Braylon Edwards No. 17 jersey, but then I read an article that he may not even make the 53-man roster. I love Braylon, but don't want to buy his jersey if he is not going to make the team. What are your thoughts? Is he a Lock?

EA: Nothing in this business is guaranteed, but you should be good Matt.  The Jets are working Edwards on a pitch count during camp because they want the 30-year-old receiver to be fresh come September.

Mike Mahon
Des Moines, IA

Does kicker Billy Cundiff have a realistic chance of making the final roster?

EA: Yes, but it will be difficult unless the Jets keep two kickers.  Nick Folk, who has been very solid for three years now, has connected on 82% of his career kicks from inside 50 yards.  I will tell you that Cundiff has a monster leg and I think he is an NFL kicker.  Dude has had a couple of boots here that would have been good from 70.

David
Haifa, Israel

Thanks for all the updates from the G&W scrimmage.  It is very encouraging to hear about the big plays on O. However, has a weakness on D been exposed?

EA: I took much more positive out of the scrimmage than negative.  The Jets are going to have a very good defense again and Coach Ryan has recently praised hybrid Quinton Coples and OLB Calvin Pace for their play.  Sheldon Richardson has been one of the best rookies players on the field here in Cortland and Muhammad Wilkerson is a force. Dee Milliner appeared a little tentative  Saturday night, but he is just going to get better every day.  Kyle Wilson has a had a nice camp and it will be interesting to see how Antonio Allen/Jaiquawn Jarrett continue to progress at safety.  A number of those big plays didn’t come against the 1s.  Let’s see how the defense does Friday night in Detroit. 

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