BY NICK ST. DENIS
Mark Sanchez said he was Geno Smith's "biggest fan" as Smith helped the New York Jets to a season-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Sanchez was dying inside.
"It's killing me," Sanchez said Monday regarding his watching the game from the sidelines, via NewYorkJets.com. "It's killing me."
Sanchez is still recovering from a shoulder injury he acquired in the Jets' third preseason game. Smith was handed the starting job in Sanchez's absence, and the second-round rookie didn't disappoint Week 1.
The incumbent Sanchez has been relegated to clipboard-holder and headset-wearer, a responsibility that helped Smith connect on 24 of 38 pass attempts for a touchdown and an interception.
“Anything I saw, anything [Matt] Simms saw, we just tried to talk about it, tried to stay calm and root him on," Sanchez said. "It’s not fun, but I’m happy the team won. That’s the most important thing.”
Smith also scrambled for 47 yards on six rushes, all of which had nothing to do with what advice Sanchez or Simms had for him.
Sanchez took some advice of his own, however, regarding his health. The veteran signal-caller will seek "outside opinions" on his shoulder, which has proven to be more seriously injured than initially thought. Sanchez will still be on the sideline Thursday night when Smith takes the field against the New England Patriots.
Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily