FLORHAM PARK, N. Shaquille ONeal Jersey .J. -- Geno Smith is the new face of the franchise for the New York Jets. Well, at least for the opening game of the season. Beyond that, well see. The rookie quarterback will start in the opener at home Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team finally confirmed Wednesday what had been expected since Mark Sanchez injured his right shoulder in a preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 24. "Theyll try to rattle my cage," Smith said about the Buccaneers. "I expect those guys to come out fired up and they want to make a statement. Theyve got a rookie quarterback and theyll want to hit me and get me off my game, but I expect those things. And I look forward to it." But, will Greg Schianos defence be able to unnerve him? "No," Smith said with a confident smile. Smith, who had an up-and-down preseason, was the teams second-round draft pick out of West Virginia after he was projected by many to be selected early in the opening round. After Smith threw three interceptions and took a safety in three-plus quarters against the Giants, it was widely assumed Sanchez had won the job. But Rex Ryan chose to put Sanchez in the game in the fourth quarter -- and he suffered the injury that could sideline him several weeks. "We realize that a rookie quarterback and all that, thats certainly a challenge," Ryan said. "I think our guys are ready to rally behind Geno, and the big thing weve told Geno is, You just have to be part of the solution." Despite announcing Smith as the starter for this week, Ryan wouldnt commit to him as the long-term guy under centre. It was an approach that was echoed by owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik. "Well always put the best player we can on the field on Sunday, and that will continue," Johnson said. "The competitions ongoing." With Smith stepping into the starters role, it makes Sanchezs status with the team unclear. Ryan has still never declared a winner to the competition -- and he might not ever do so. If Smith can be solid during Sanchezs absence, he could make it hard for Ryan to pull him. And, by never saying whether Smith or Sanchez had won the job, Ryan would never technically have benched the anointed starter. While many look at the move as the team moving forward with a new quarterback, Idzik was asked if, when healthy, Sanchez has a chance to be the starter again. "Yes, of course he does," Idzik said. The Jets also have the inexperienced Matt Simms, who had a terrific preseason, and recently signed journeyman Brady Quinn. But with Sanchez not ready to play Sunday, the choice for Ryan, Idzik and offensive co-ordinator Marty Mornhinweg was easy for this week. "Well go through some ups and downs, I guarantee you that," Mornhinweg told the teams website. "Knowing Geno, hopefully there will be more ups than there are downs." Smith was off to a great start in training camp, going several practices without throwing an interception and outperforming Sanchez on some days. But Smith sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of the Jets preseason opener at Detroit and didnt play in the second game against Jacksonville because of the injury. He started against the Giants, with the general thought being he could potentially secure the starting job with a solid performance. Instead, Smith showed his inexperience during a miserable performance -- hurt in part by his ailing ankle -- that appeared to tip the tightly contested competition in Sanchezs favour. "I dont think Ive been rushed," said Smith, who took 69 snaps in preseason games. "They wouldnt put me out there if they didnt think I was ready." But the quarterback situation changed when Sanchez took a crunching hit to the shoulder from the Giants Marvin Austin. "We all regret that Mark got hurt, and obviously thats unfortunate," Ryan said. "Its unfortunate that it happened, but these things do happen and weve moved on." The Jets have said only that Sanchez -- the starter since his rookie season in 2009 -- was day to day with simply a "shoulder injury." The fact he hasnt practiced since, and the Jets signing Quinn on Monday were signs that Sanchezs injury was more serious than the team was initially letting on. But placing Sanchez on injured reserve doesnt appear to be an option at the moment. "Were not looking at that," Idzik said. Smith said his ankle is "steadily improving," and is "a ways away" from where it was in training camp, when he wasnt able to fully drive the ball as he planted his foot. "Nothing is given in this league," Smith said about needing to prove himself each week. "Im going to go out there and Im going to do that." Sanchez was once considered the future of the franchise, a terrific talent with GQ looks, and consecutive trips to the AFC title game in his first two years drew natural comparisons to Joe Namath. But Sanchez struggled over the next few seasons, including an NFL-leading 52 turnovers the last two years, and failed to develop into the elite passer the Jets had hoped. Ryan benched Sanchez for a game last season and it appeared his days in New York were numbered. His contract, however, and the $8.25 million in guarantees for this year made him unmovable. Still some have speculated that the Jets could simply cut Sanchez and move forward entirely with Smith. "Mark is going to be on the team," Johnson said. "I dont think theres a question." It appeared in spring that the Jets would let Sanchez compete with veteran David Garrard for the starting job. During the draft in April, the Jets went for defence with their two first-round picks, selecting cornerback Dee Milliner and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. But when their pick came up in the second round and Smith was still available, they jumped at the chance to take him. In May, knee trouble caused Garrard to retire, leaving the competition between Sanchez and Smith. A few months later, Smith has the opportunity -- starting Sunday against Tampa Bay -- to try to prove he might be the type of franchise-changing quarterback the Jets have been looking for. "Id like to be," Smith said. "Thats a tough question, but honestly, Id love to be the franchise quarterback here. I think thats the reason they brought me here." NOTES: Ryan announced that Vladimir Ducasse would start at left guard, and Antonio Allen would start at safety opposite Dawan Landry. Those were the two other main competitions in training camp. ... Simms will serve as the backup to Smith over Quinn on Sunday. Danny Ainge Jersey . Jannero Pargo scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help the Charlotte Bobcats erase a 21-point deficit and rally for an 83-76 preseason victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. Marcus Morris Jersey . Beckham finished 2 for 4, adding a double in the first inning. Chicago has won eight of 12 to get back to .500 (27-27). The White Sox are 6-3 against Cleveland this season after losing 17 of 19 to their American League Central rival in 2013. Mike Aviles went 1 for 2 with a walk and drove in Clevelands run. http://www.celticsofficialsstore.com/kids-al-horford-celtics-jersey/ .Y. - Major League Soccer is prepared to start its season this weekend even if there isnt a labour deal with its referees and other on-field officials. SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Top-seeded Tommy Haas retired with a shoulder injury while losing 6-3, 3-2 to Paolo Lorenzi of Italy in the Brazil Open semifinals on Saturday. Haas said he "felt a lot of pain" in his right shoulder when he slammed his racket to the ground in frustration after losing his serve at 3-3 in the first set. He kept playing despite needing medical treatment several times, and finally gave up after going down another break in the second set. The 12th-ranked German said the pain was "getting worse during the match" and it didnt allow him to "compete the way" he wanted. "After I threw my racket when I got broken at three-all I felt a lot of pain in my shoulder and it never really got away," the 35-year-old Haas said. "The pain was getting worse. And the smart players decision has to be not to continue, unfortunately." Haas said he has been frustrated with shoulder problems and admitted it could play a factor on when to stop playing. "Ive had three shoulder injuries and one elbow injury, so my shoulder is not the youngest, not the way it needs to be," Haas said. Marcus Smart Jersey. "Im very happy that I can still play at a high level, but sometimes the shoulder is very, very tired, very, very stiff, and it tells me not to continue. But Ill try to play as long as I can, hopefully for the rest of the season, then we will see." The 32-year-old Lorenzi, ranked 114th, will play in his first ATP final against 61st-ranked Federico Delbonis of Argentina, who got past home-crowd favourite Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 in 2 hours, 9 minutes. Lorenzi had previously never advanced past the quarterfinals. "When I started this tournament I never thought that I would be playing in the final," Lorenzi said. "Now tomorrow lets see what happens. Right now Im just happy to be in this final." Rafael Nadal elected not to defend the title this week. He chose to play in the first Rio Open, which he won last week. 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