The Times West Virginian

Sports

July 12, 2013

Geno Smith won’t attend Sanchez’s Jets camp

NEW YORK — Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith won’t be camping out together in Southern California.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Smith will not attend Sanchez’s camp that began Thursday and includes several New York Jets teammates.

Sanchez has organized the informal workouts and team-bonding sessions, dubbed “Jets West,” for each of the last few summers at Mission Viejo High School, his alma mater. It was not certain if the quarterback officially invited Smith, the team’s second-round pick who is competing with Sanchez for the starting job, but Smith will not participate in the workouts that started Thursday, the person told the AP.

The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for Sanchez or Smith.

The Daily News reported that Smith, who had said during minicamp in June that he would likely attend if invited by Sanchez, is working out on his own in Florida. Smith initially caused some confusion when he responded with a “no comment” when asked if he would attend. He later explained he hadn’t heard of “Jets West” and didn’t understand what he was being asked about.

“Mark hasn’t officially extended the hand to me, but I’m pretty sure there’s no problem there,” Smith said. “I’m more than willing to go there.”

But Sanchez also added: “Everyone’s always been invited.”

While some have speculated it could be the first sign of tension between the two quarterbacks, it could also merely be a case in which Smith opted to stay close to home where he has been working out all summer.

Sanchez tweeted photos Thursday from the camp, with running back Chris Ivory, tight end Jeff Cumberland and wide receivers Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates, Jordan White, Ryan Spadola and Vidal Hazelton among those in attendance.

The Jets report for their official team training camp in Cortland on July 25.

While Tim Tebow is now in New England, the Jets’ quarterbacks again will be the focus when camp opens.

Sanchez, the starter in each of his four years since being drafted No. 5 overall in 2009, has struggled mightily the last two seasons. He has committed 52 turnovers during that span, most among NFL quarterbacks, and has gone from being the face of the franchise to seeing his future with the Jets becoming uncertain.

Smith, the former record-breaking star from West Virginia, was expected to be a high pick in the first round in the NFL draft in April but instead slipped to the second. New York, jumping at the chance to bring in a first-round talent, opted to take Smith with their third pick in the draft. Smith and Sanchez are each learning new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s system, and neither particularly stood out during minicamp.

“Right now,” general manager John Idzik said on the final day of minicamp, “we feel we have a pretty healthy competition going on at that position.”

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