This past week, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez hosted his fourth annual “Jets West” camp in Mission Viejo, Calif., a three-day event intended to build camaraderie with his teammates before training camp begins.
Sanchez and a few teammates studied film together and did on-field drills during Jets West, but with little media access, some of the focus seemed to be on a teammate who wasn’t there: rookie quarterback Geno Smith.
Some in the media want Jets fans to care that Smith didn’t show up, failing to mention that neither of the other Jets quarterbacks, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms, weren’t there either. Smith’s been working hard, regardless.
Rather than make two cross-country flights, Geno Smith instead trained in Florida with Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown and former college teammates Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, among others.
It shouldn’t matter that Geno Smith did not come out support a guy that he’s in direct competition with, and it shouldn’t matter to Mark Sanchez that the rookie declined the invitation Sanchez claims to have extended him.
In four years of working out at Jets West, it’s not as if Mark Sanchez has gotten any better on Sundays. It’s nice that he’s tried to go the extra mile in his preparation, but until it translates to NFL games, does it really matter?
Training camp formally begins in less than two weeks, and any leg up that Sanchez has on Smith will be put to the test on a daily basis. Smith didn’t snub Jets West, he chose not to go. There’s nothing wrong with that.