Now Smith has echoed that sentiment, while again reminding us that a genuine competition is on tap at New York Jets training camp.
"Me and Mark are cool. There's no hard feelings or anything," Smith told the OchoCinco News Network. "He's up there getting some work with the guys, I'm down here getting work, some guys are going to be down here today. It's just been good.
"I'm taking this competition very seriously, preparing myself to be a starter as I've said all along. And I think the media, they're doing their jobs. They gotta create a hot story, they gotta keep the fans interested, so they're going to put whatever they want out there."
Smith wasn't asked why he chose to stay in Florida last weekend, but then again, perhaps it's too much to ask for pertinent follow-up questions from a news outlet that settled on Chad Johnson's fedora-topped head as its company logo.
But back to Smith and Sanchez. It's refreshing how both players have gone about the walk-up to training camp. Both guys seem to believe they are the rightful starter, and they're both talking publicly like it. Viewed through that prism, it makes more sense why Smith didn't attend Jets West.
In the big picture, Sanchez is Smith's teammate. But right now, he's the competition.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.