It’s been four excruciating years since Mark Sanchez took over the New York Jets’ starting quarterback job, and yet somehow he’s still in the mix to start as we inch closer to the 2013 campaign.
Even with rookie Geno Smith in the mix, the Jets have yet to demote Sanchez to backup quarterback. With OTAs under way and training camp just around the corner, Sanchez still has a lot to prove before the Jets ink his name at the top of the depth chart.
Despite the media’s willingness to hang Sanchez for his struggles, the incumbent hasn’t thrown in the towel on his stint as the Jets’ starter.
“I don’t plan on that happening,” Sanchez said. “I’m planning on playing, I’m planning on starting.”
Good vibes and gung-ho quotes will only get you so far in the NFL, though.
While his numbers weren’t horrendous in 2012, Sanchez made an unmistakably negative mark on the Jets’ offense with his ridiculous amount of turnovers. Throughout last season, he threw 18 interceptions and lost eight fumbles, compiling 24 total turnovers compared to his measly 13 touchdown passes. Sanchez also took 34 sacks, was extremely inaccurate when under pressure and finished the season with an underwhelming 66.9 quarterback rating.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but those aren’t the type of numbers you want from a starter and former first-round pick.
Since the addition of Smith, Sanchez has played the good teammate role the same way he did last season after the Jets acquired Tim Tebow. His “for the team” attitude, though, isn’t going to be his saving grace when Week 1 rolls around. If anything, he’s going to have to adopt a killer instinct in order to beat out the athletically-superior Smith for the starting gig.
Considering Jets head coach Rex Ryan’s infatuation with Sanchez, there’s a good chance that the USC product will get yet another opportunity to slow down the Gang Green offense this upcoming season. The self-destruction will continue until Ryan is no longer in charge.
Will the Jets rid themselves of their self-imposed crutch or flush another season down the toilet? We’ll see once training camp begins if Ryan has the brass ones to pull the plug on Sanchez.