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    NFL Preseason Preview - NY Jets (0-0) at Detroit (0-0)



    By John McMullen, NFL Editor

    (Sports Network) - Mark Sanchez will get the first opportunity to hold serve is his quarterback duel with rookie Geno Smith when the New York Jets open their preseason slate in the Motor City against the Detroit Lions.

    Those back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship Game in Sanchez's first two NFL seasons are now just distant memories for the Jets, a team which will enter the 2013 season as one of the least talented in all of football.

    The embattled Sanchez is getting one final chance to prove he can be the answer at quarterback for New York but with Smith, the former West Virginia star, on hand his leash figures to be short.

    "Yeah (it factors in)," Jets coach Rex Ryan said when talking about Sanchez's past success, "but I know all about the turnovers. I know about the goods and the bads. So, there (have) been great moments, (there have) been bad moments. We'll start right now. Somebody has to take the first snap, and to me, it is going to be a fair competition, a fair and open competition. Mark has had a good camp. He's had a good training camp, as has Geno. But being the incumbent, I don't think anyone would have been surprised that Mark would be the first quarterback in the first preseason game."

    Smith believes he is still in the hunt, however.

    "The reps have been split," the second-round draft choice said. "That's kind of the way practices have been going. My job is just to take care of my reps that come on Friday. I don't have any reaction towards (Sanchez starting), the competition is still open. I'm just continuing to work and to grow."

    Other areas to assess for with the Jets include cornerback where rookie Dee Milliner, who is struggling with a calf injury, will be asked to fill some very big shoes (Darrelle Revis), right tackle, a position where Austin Howard allowed 13 1/2 sacks last season, and left outside linebacker where the pedestrian Antwan Barnes and second-year man Quinton Coples are currently competing.

    In Detroit this is a make or break year for Lions coach Jim Schwartz.

    A dismal 4-12 season had Detroit in all too familiar territory this spring, mulling a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. The Lions thought they put that kind of thing behind them after a 2011 playoff appearance but things went off the rails pretty quickly last year and it's imperative Schwartz turns things around.

    Cleaning up the mental mistakes and all the pre-snap penalties would go a long way in curing the woes of Detroit's talented offense, led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, and All-World receiver Calvin Johnson, the second selection in the '07 draft.

    Add in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the second pick in the 2010 draft, and this year's No. 5 selection, DE Ziggy Ansah, from the other side of the ball and you see Detroit has far too much experience picking in the top 10 along with way too much talent to be doing so again.

    "They are always important," Stafford told the Lions' website when talking about preseason games. "Anytime you play and put the uniform on gameday you want to come away with a win. I think it's important for the veterans to start fast."

    08/08 13:58:03 ET

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    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

      Great 38: Win tickets to Daytona 500

      Updated:

      Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

      • Great Stuff

      News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

      Updated:

      In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

      Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

      Updated:

      Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

      Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

      Updated:

      Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
      More>>

      How this guide dog helps one blind triathlete chase her Paralympic dream

      Updated:

      Every time Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon makes it to the end of another grueling triathlon, she knows her trusty companion will be waiting for her at the finish line. Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as "a death sentence" at the time,  More>>

      Legoland Florida hotel to open in spring; built for kids

      LEGOLAND Florida photo LEGOLAND Florida photo
      Updated:

      Legoland Florida Hotel will welcome its first guests a month earlier than previously expected.During an announcement Thursday, Legoland executives announced May 15 as the revised opening date.  More>>

      3 rhinos escape from safari zoo, return safely Video included

      Updated:

      Three rhinoceroses escaped from their site at a safari zoo in Israel this week, NBC reported.  More>>

      VIRAL VIDEO: Bossy 4-year-old girl feeds 6 pit bull dogs

      Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube
      Updated:

      A video of a very authoritative 4-year-old girl feeding six very obedient pit pulls in the middle of a kitchen has gone viral on the web and is prompting a heated debate about the pit bull breed.
      More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

      'Birdman,' 'Budapest' top Oscar nominations with 9 nods each

      Updated:

      Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," tied for the most Oscar nominations Thursday morning with nine nods each, including best picture. More>>

      Out and About
      Powered by WorldNow

      200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

      Telephone: 813.228.8888
      Fax: 813.225.2770
      Email: news@wfla.com

      Can???t find something?
      Powered by WorldNow
      All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.