NFL New York Jets

Pete Carroll Was Right About New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez


Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Pity can sometimes disguise itself as compassion. This certainly is the case for Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Four years ago Carroll, then at USC was on the verge of losing his starting quarterback, current New York Jets signal caller Mark Sanchez. He spoke of how going to the NFL would be a mistake. At the time Sanchez had just completed an impressive redshirt junior season.

In his only full year as a starter, Sanchez completed 65.8 percent of his passes with 34 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions. A victory in the 2009 Rose Bowl against Penn State thrilled scouts on his potential. Carroll warned him about leaving too soon. There is some recent evidence to support this point.

Even though Sanchez was in college for four years he only started 16 games. The Jets hierarchy, including head coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson, were intrigued by what he could become. There was of course a tremendous amount of team success his first two years. A solid running game and defense helped break in the young player, and lead the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Games.

Even though results looked good, Sanchez struggled the entire time. His rookie year resulted in 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. The career-high 26 scoring passes he had in 2011 were matched by the same number of turnovers. Carroll recently mentioned feeling sorry for his former player.

In 2012, Tim Tebow’s presence put Sanchez on edge. A lack of talent, especially at the skill positions, also helped sabotage his season. Now that Carroll has his Seahawks on the verge of a Super Bowl appearance it is easy to have a change of heart.

While some issues were not his fault, Sanchez could have used one more year to learn how to sharpen his skills, and carry himself in a more mature manner.