Mark Sanchez, sporting long locks secured with a stylish soccer-style headband, took the high road on Thursday when he spoke to members of the media for the first time since the NFL draft, during which the New York Jets drafted West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the second round.
When asked about the upcoming weeks heading into a new season, Sanchez replied "no doubt" and "sure, of course" when asked if he'd be the starting quarterback.
With the Jets having cut Tim Tebow, there are five quarterbacks on the team's roster: Sanchez, Smith, recent free-agent signee and former Jacksonville Jaguars starter David Garrard, third-year pro Greg McElroy and Matt Simms, a rookie who the team cut before last season but brought back in December on a reserve contract.
The Jets have a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, a West Coast-style guru who Sanchez believes will fashion a scheme more suited to his talents. He's confident about the competition.
“There's a little fire going, and that's good,” Sanchez said. “I think it's good for everybody.”
And what will it take for him to secure his spot as a starter?
“Hopefully winning a bunch of games, that's really all I'm worried about,” Sanchez said. “Whether it's a make-or-break thing? I feel that way every year. It should feel that way if you care about it. It's an exciting time.”
And the hair? What's up with that?
“It's my inner-soccer player,” Sanchez said of his slick-backed locks. “My hair's getting long. I'm going to donate it at some point.”