CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Mark Sanchez considered the question for a moment, and then confidently brushed it aside.
What if he isn't the New York Jets starting quarterback job in Week 1, relegated to highly paid clipboard holder while Geno Smith is running the offense? Would he consider it a failure?
"I don't know," Sanchez said Friday after the team's first training camp practice. "I don't even think like that. I don't think about not winning the job. That's just the way I am.
"I'm pretty optimistic."
As far as Sanchez is concerned, there's no way he won't be out there under center against Tampa Bay at MetLife Stadium in the season opener.
There are plenty of fans, though, who are wishing for nothing more than to have Smith beat out Sanchez and usher in a new era at quarterback. Sure, those two trips to the AFC title game in Sanchez's first two seasons were nice, but the 52 turnovers the last two years have a fan base frustrated and impatient.
"Mark is looking at it from the standpoint this is his chance to prove everybody wrong," wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. "A lot of people have written him off, said a lot of nasty things about him."
But a good chunk of it has been brought upon himself - with the inconsistent play and turnovers. Getting caught during the offseason on video dancing while showing his backside just added to the insults and jokes.
Sanchez, though, knows all of that will be forgotten, or at least, overlooked if he can play better. And, if the team wins. Rex Ryan and the Jets are trying to figure out whether Sanchez or Smith will give them the best chance to do just that.
Edwards has seen it from Sanchez before.
"He's a guy that I want to see succeed more than anything because I know what kind of guy he is," Edwards said. "I know what kind of time he puts into this sport. Especially in this organization, things he's done. ... Hopefully this is his year. He definitely has the right approach into doing so."
Both quarterbacks had solid performances, moving the offense well and limiting mistakes. Sanchez led the first-team offense Friday, and it is expected the two will alternate throughout camp - as they did during offseason practices.
"Well, I had errors, but the good thing is that there (are) always things to learn from, always room for improvement and this is only Day 1," Smith said. "We have a long camp schedule ahead of us, so my goal is to go in with the mentality to get better at every single thing that I do."
Smith already knows how to say the right things, and he has been doing that since the day he was drafted - in the second round after an unexpected slide out of the first round. And, he might match Sanchez's approach when it comes to self-assessment.