FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Mark Sanchez evidently feels pretty good about his chances of winning the starting job.
"I feel good about my performance and the camp I put together," he said Monday. "It's definitely the best camp I've had."
It has been a mixed bag for Sanchez. On the positive side, he has completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 294 yards (second in the NFL). On the downside, he has thrown two costly interceptions -- one returned for a touchdown, the other in the opponents' end zone. His passer rating is 84.7.
Let's check his previous preseasons. He has higher passing ratings in 2009 (111.0) and 2011 (102.9), and he posted higher completion percentages in 2012 (78.8), 2009 (64.9) and 2010 (64.6).
Our conclusion: Sanchez's preseason performance isn't an accurate indicator for his season. But it's pretty apparent, listening to Sanchez, that he feels comfortable in Marty Mornhinweg's system. He's never been critical of Tony Sparano's offense from last year, but it's no secret he didn't consider it a quarterback-friendly system.
Asked to explain why Mornhinweg's system suits him, Sanchez said:
"I love the way you can mix up personnel, formations, use some base concepts and run them a million different ways with motions and shifts. I love that he gives us a lot of freedom at the line to go over protection and redirect it with [Nick] Mangold. I think the system, in general, just lends itself to quarterbacks trying to get the ball out quick, taking our shots down field and getting wide outs and skill position players in the right places to distort a defense. Then you go make the read, make the throw and make them work for it."
Sanchez is like a golfer in the clubhouse after a round. His scoreboard is in; the Jets know what they have in Sanchez. Now they're waiting to see how Smith responds Saturday night, assuming he plays.
"I think we’re coming down the stretch here," Sanchez said, "so I’m sure a decision will be made here soon."