Mark Sanchez received as tenuous vote of confidence as one can receive from his former teammate and future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson Thursday when the retired running back, now an analyst on NFL Network, spoke on NFL Total Access. Tomlinson said that “by default” Sanchez would give the Jets the best chance to win when the season opened because Smith won’t be ready as a rookie coming out of the West Virginia offense.
“This is a West Coast offense, and really Mark Sanchez has that type of DNA in him because he played at USC in a West Coast offense,” said Tomlinson. “Early on, we probably will see Sanchez take the snaps at the starting spot. But here’s the thing: in preseason, if Mark Sanchez doesn’t show the ability to improve from turning the football over and that race is close between the two, Geno Smith will be the starter.”
Smith and Sanchez will enter training camp in a battle that appears to be neck-and-neck for the Week 1 starting job. Tomlinson played with Sanchez in 2010 and 2011.
“Mark has to start to trust himself. Mark does a great job in the film room but when he comes out on the field, he doesn’t trust what he sees out there in terms of coverages and the timing with his receivers. If he starts to trust himself and not hesitate in throwing the football, then he possibly could turn his career around. I think it’ll be tough at this point because rarely does a zebra change his stripes.”