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Mark Sanchez to Start Jets' Preseason Opener

Andy Lyons/Getty Images (CORTLAND, N.Y.)  -- The New York Jets made the decision to start Mark Sanchez in the team's preseason opener on Friday night against the Detroit Lions.

"It seems like the natural thing to do," head coach Rex Ryan said.

Ryan went on to say that it's an "even competition," between Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith.  Smith will get reps with the first-team offense as well.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg thinks that Sanchez received the starting nod because he has played better than Smith during the first part of camp. "He's earned it," Mornhinweg said. "He's had an outstanding camp."

Both Sanchez and Smith have been alternating first-team reps in camp, rotating every third day. Ryan hopes to have a starter named by the team's third preseason game later this month.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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