Considering Sanchez's recent struggles and Smith's lack of experience, this might seem like a lesser-of-two-evils decision for the coach. But from Ryan's perspective, it's a better situation than the last time he had this responsibility on the training-camp agenda.
2013 Jets West campTake a look as Mark Sanchez and his teammates work out on the west coast.
"I like our quarterback situation much better than I did the first year I was here," Ryan said Friday on MSNBC, via Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.
The 2009 season marked the first year on the Jets for both Ryan and Sanchez. Brett Favre's one-and-done run in Gotham was over, and Sanchez's prime challenger in camp was career backup Kellen Clemens. The competition was rigged in favor of the rookie, who won the job and kept it.
On Friday, Ryan didn't show his hand when discussing Sanchez and Smith.
"Obviously, (Sanchez has) had his ups and downs and things, but there's a lot of positive things about what Mark's accomplished, won four road playoff games," Ryan said. "But this Geno Smith is really a talented young man."
Sanchez won the Jets' last quarterback competition because the team wanted him to. It might be more of a meritocracy this time around.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.