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Mark Sanchez will start in N.Y. Jets' preseason opener

Mark Sanchez is the first man up at quarterback for the New York Jets.

Rex Ryan announced Tuesday that Sanchez will start in the Jets' preseason opener Friday against the Detroit Lions. Ryan said Geno Smith will see some work with the first team as well.

Ryan hopes Smith will face the Lions' first-team defense, though the coach acknowledged that will be determined by how long Jim Schwartz sticks with his 1s.

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"The preseason doesn't end after this first preseason game," Ryan said. "We'll take it through as much as possible, we said this is going to be equal competition and it is going to be a competition and I think that's exactly what it is."

It's an expected decision by the team. Sanchez is the veteran incumbent set to earn $8.5 million this season. He's expected to beat out the rookie, which explains why Sanchez will get the first chance to make an impression.

That said, don't be surprised if Smith starts the Jets' second preseason game next Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The starter the following week -- on Aug. 24 against the New York Giants -- likely will be the quarterback who takes the field Sept. 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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