Sanchez & Smith haven't separated per Lee
In summary, Sanchez is dumber than dirt and Smith as expected needs to assimilate PLUS fix his footwork. Meh.:(
David Lee says there are some days when Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith both look good. Then there are days when both look real good. Then, there are days when both donít look good at all.
And thatís why the Jets donít have a starting quarterback yet.
"Theyíve done it together, they havenít made it easy," Lee, the Jetsí new quarterbacks coach, said yesterday. "... I donít know why theyíre both doing it at the same time. Maybe itís a reflection on me. Maybe Iím screwing it up somehow, but they wonít separate right now."
With Sanchez, the turnover rate needs to get better. Lee said when he
was hired, Jets coach Rex Ryan asked him to just get Sanchez to take care of the ball.
"Fifty-two turnovers in two years is not conducive to winning in our league," Lee said. "Mark can win in this league. Heís proven that. Heís played for championships.
"But Iím blatantly honest. Brutally truthful at times, and Iíve told him ó Iíve said, ĎHey, the best thing you can do for this football team is take care of the ball.í Itís been so hard for him to keep his left hand on the football. Yesterday was the first time he kept two hands on the ball and thatís after nine OTAs and a mini-camp."
With Smith, the footwork and assimilation into the West Coast offense need to come around.
"His system at West Virginia, thereís no similarities there whatsoever," Lee said. "Unlike Russell Wilson, who was in the West Coast system for three years at N.C. State under Dana Bible ... Geno hasnít had that luxury. Itís been a brand-new world ever day, just struggling with the basic things."
Lee, in his first meeting with reporters since receiving the job, flashed the honesty that his players admired so far in mini-camp. His assessment, though encouraging, shows just how far the competition needs to come in the next few weeks.
He cautioned that there is still time ó training camp is more than a month away ó but Lee has also admittedly never gone through a quarterback competition like this before. As a Bill Parcells disciple, everything was far more cut-and-dry. Parcells also liked to judge his quarterbacks based on game action. Lee mentioned the preseason as an important step, but also said that a decision could be made by then.
"In Miami, it was (Chad) Pennington, it was clear," Lee said. "With Bill Parcells in Dallas, it was Quincy Carter, clearly Quincy. Then it was Vinny (Testaverde), clearly Vinny. Then it was Drew (Bledsoe), clearly Drew. Then Drewís play went down a little and he made that call in the middle of the Giants game.
"So, itís never been like this, no, sir."
In the meantime, they will continue to drill. There is a specific "Sanchez Drill" at the end of practice where the quarterbacks must go through a "gauntlet" to protect the football. Lee said: "He hates it."
There is a continuous emphasis on footwork for Smith, who may have the slightest misstep ó an extra hitch ó that will throw off a play.
"We will continue to look at both of them, split reps, and as soon as we know ĎHey, heís the guyí weíll let you know. But right now we donít know."