Geno Smith: Mark Sanchez is a 'pretty good quarterback'

USA TODAY Sports

Smith was complimentary of the incumbent Jets starter in a radio interview on Monday.

If Geno Smith wins the starting job for the New York Jets over incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez, it likely won't come after a war of words, as Smith has been very complimentary of his new teammate. On Monday, Smith told 98.7 ESPN Radio that Sanchez is a "pretty good quarterback" and avoided questions of a possible starting role with the team.

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"He's a professional, he's done it for several years and he has handled himself well, in my opinion," Smith said on 98.7 ESPN Radio. "Everything he's done, the ups and the downs, I think the overall perception of him might be kind of swayed, depending on the games he has played. But I think he's a pretty good quarterback. I look forward to competing with him and being around him."

Sanchez, 26, was the fifth-overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft and has been the full-time starter for the Jets in each of his four seasons with the team. In 2012, Sanchez struggled in the role, as he threw 18 interceptions and 13 touchdowns to finish the year with a 66.9 passer rating.

At West Virginia University last season, Smith was a prolific passer with 42 touchdowns and just six interceptions in the Mountaineers' air-raid offense, though the defenses of the Big 12 are far from comparable to the AFC East.

Also on Monday, Smith denied accusations that he was a standoffish person in pre-draft interviews, as reports previously said that the quarterback spent time on his cell phone instead of talking with general managers and coaches.

"I know better than to be texting in front of general managers and guys who ultimately will be my bosses," he said.

In New York, Smith joins a crowded field at quarterback, as the team has 2011 seventh-round pick Greg McElroy, second-year passer Matt Simms and recent free agent-acquisition David Garrard on the roster along with Sanchez and Smith.

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