- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Between the two quarterbacks vying for the starting position, Rex Ryan conceded that he knows more about Mark Sanchez than he does about rookie Geno Smith. But that isn’t a reason to start Smith in the first preseason game of the year, the Jets coach said.
Especially when some of what he knows about Sanchez isn’t positive.
“I know all about the turnovers,” Ryan said. “I know the goods and the bads. So there’s been great moments there have been bad moments. We’ll start right now, somebody’s got to take the first snap. To me, it is going to be a fair and open competition. But we’re not going to put both quarterbacks out there, and really Mark has had a good camp, as has Geno.”
From the sound of it, Ryan is giving both quarterbacks as clean a slate as he can this season. He adds that even if Smith isn’t starting, the coaching staff will see how he responds to contact.
“They’re going to get hit in this league,” Ryan said. “There’s no question about it so we’ll see how they react. And that’s something that we really haven’t seen yet because they know they’re in a red jersey you’re not hitting. Those guys will be hit this week.”
KNOW YOUR LANE: Rookie linebacker Troy Davis got an earful today when he tackled someone during a touch football practice. Ryan said sometimes you have to be clear with a young player who is aggressively trying to make the team.
“The big message is just to make sure we’re taking care of each other though,” Ryan said. “If it’s a live scrimmage situation, that’s great. If it’s not we’ve got to practice like a pro.”
That said, Ryan is looking forward to see what Davis can do in a game.
“I’m really excited to see him play on Friday night because he is a very physical, aggressive player and that’s great to see,” Ryan said.
KERLEY FLIES: Ryan singled out WR Jeremy Kerley as having had one of the best training camps this season. “Obviously, he played really well for us last year,” Ryan said. “Might have had the best year out of all those guys. But the thing I’ve been most impressed with is his punt returning.”
MILLINER OUT: Dee Milliner was held out of a good potion of team drills due to tightness in his calf area. The rookie cornerback had been tapped to start in Detroit opposite Antonio Cromartie. “I don’t know if it will be a big deal, I kind of doubt it,” Ryan said. Kyle Wilson is the designated replacement. “You better have some depth at that position and we certainly do,” Ryan said.