- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Observations from the sideline:
1. Mark Sanchez wins the QB competition: Rex Ryan didn't make the announcement, but he didn't have to. It became obvious Saturday night, when Geno Smith proved he isn't ready, and it was affirmed Monday with Ryan's non-answer on his quarterback plan. If Smith had won the job, it would've been easy to anoint him. But Ryan withheld his decision, pretending the competition still is ongoing. That's because his chosen starter -- Sanchez -- is banged up and may not be available for Week 1. Round and round we go.
2. Vladimir Ducasse is a starter -- finally: It took three years, but the former second-round pick has cracked the lineup at left guard. Ducasse, who appeared to be on his way to bust-dom, beat out veteran Stephen Peterman for the job. On Monday, the Jets released Peterman, all but confirming Ducasse's promotion. He's also listed with the starters on the team's latest depth chart. This isn't a season-long appointment; he will be pushed by third-round pick Brian Winters. Somewhere, former GM Mike Tannenbaum, Ducasse's most ardent supporter, is smiling.
3. Kenrick Ellis could get Pipp-ed before he starts a game: With Ellis nursing a bad back, second-year nose tackle Damon Harrison has stepped in nicely, earning lavish praise from Ryan. On Monday, Ryan opened his news conference with a video of Harrison and rookie receiver Ryan Spadola, highlighting their top plays from Saturday night. Harrison, who made the team last year as an undrafted rookie, made seven solo tackles, showing nice instincts, ball awareness and hustle. Ellis began camp as the presumptive starter on the nose, but he has missed two games and is in danger of losing the job to a man with the best nickname on the team -- Snacks.