Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/18/14
It's sort of ironic that Antonio Cromartie — the player who picked off Mark Sanchez's boo-inciting pass Saturday— is the same guy who came to the quarterback's defense when the venomous chorus from the stands wouldn't let up on the maligned QB. Though he made the pick, Cromartie was not too happy with the crowd’s reaction. “I think that’s bullcrap,” Cromartie said. “My thing is, if you’re going to be a fan, be a fan. You don’t come out here and boo anybody.” Sanchez seemed to take it in stride, perhaps having gotten used to being the target of such disdain over the past couple of seasons. “Oh, shoot, I don’t care,” he said. “That’s the way it goes.” The boos started before Sanchez tossed the pick. Earlier in the game, the fifth-year incumbent, trying to fight off a challenge from rookie Geno Smith for the starting job, tripped over his own feet and fell smack on his butt for the easiest sack of Dawan Landry’s career. You might want to label it the Buttsack — little brother of the infamous Buttfumble of last season. For Sanchez’s sake, at least it was his own rear end that took the brunt of the impact (rather than Brandon Moore’s) and he was able to hang on to the football. Though Smith reportedly looked like the better quarterback throughout the majority of the scrimmage Saturday, Sanchez finished with a big play —a 57-yard touchdown to Stephen Hill — which wiped out any remnants of the aforementioned Buttsack. Sanchez completed six of 11 attempts for 93 yards, with a touchdown, interception and two sacks. Smith, who took the majority of the reps with the first team because it was his turn in the rotation, was 9-for-16 for 77 yards and a sack. Look for Friday night’s preseason opener against the Lions as an opportunity for either Sanchez or Smith to solidify their chances for the starting job. “Again, guys, it’s just one opportunity to come out and compete,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “Certainly, this is really the beginning stages of the competition, and I think it will be interesting when we go to Detroit and start playing some live preseason games.” Good thing Cromartie is there as the Jets' peacekeeper.
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