Despite a turnover-plagued season that resulted in his benching,
Mark Sanchez likely will head into the New York Jets' training camp
as the favorite in an anticipated quarterback competition. "Mark will
probably have just a little bit of a leg up, it wouldappear," offensive
coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Monday in his first
Q&A with New York-area reporters.Mornhinweg, hired in January
to replace Tony Sparano, said there are"a select few" on offense
that have earned the right to be No. 1 on thedepth chart. But he
didn't include Sanchez in that group, stressingthere will be an
The only experienced quarterbacks on the roster are Sanchez,
Greg McElroy and Tim Tebow, whose NFL future is a mystery.
Mornhinweg said he had a "long discussion" with Tebow, claiming he
has given "an awful lot of thought" on how he could incorporate Tebow
into his offense.
But don't count on a Tebow return. The Jets are prepared to part ways
with the popular backup, who was unhappy last season in his Wildcat
Tebow, speaking at a function Saturday night in Naples, Fla.,
admitted he doesn't know where he'll be playing."I may not know
where I'm going next, but I know what's guiding me," he told Naplesnews.com.
Based on Mornhinweg's comments, it sounds like the Jets don't expect
to acquire a quarterback who would pose a serious threat to Sanchez's
job. They recently visited with free agent David Garrard, who hasn't
played in two years. They may investigate Brady Quinn in free agency.
Clearly, they're counting on Mornhinweg to fix Sanchez, whose star
has faded since back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in 2009
"I'm not sure that's the [right] term, that he needs to be fixed,"
Mornhinweg said. "Mark's got a lot of strengths. He has played at a high
But not last season.
Sanchez committed 26 turnovers for the second straight year and was
benched in Week 16 in favor of McElroy. An $8.25 million salary
guarantee in 2013 likely saved Sanchez's roster spot, limiting the Jets'
"It's been just a touch scattered," said Mornhinweg, understating
Sanchez's struggles. "He's proven he can play at a winning level, at a
high level. ... Now his challenge is, and our challenge is, playing at
that level on a much more consistent basis."
Speaking of Sanchez's attributes, Mornhinweg mentioned several
come-from-behind victories in 2010. He also said Sanchez has the arm to
make all the necessary throws. The question is accuracy.
Mornhinweg, previously the Philadelphia Eagles' coordinator, will install
a West Coast system, which is predicated on accuracy. Sanchez is a
55-percent career passer.
Mornhinweg, echoing the theme of new general manager John Idzik,
promised a quarterback competition -- even if he couldn't name the full
slate of competitors.
With regard to Tebow, Mornhinweg was careful to couch his remarks by
saying, "If he's on the team." But he spoke effusively of Tebow, who
fumed last season when he was passed over for the starting job.
"He's heard my thoughts on the situation and he had some thoughts as
well," Mornhinweg said of his recent conversation with Tebow. "If he's
on this football team, which he is right now, I would do it a certain
way and try to utilize all of our players that can help us win a
"First of all, he would need to take reps at quarterback. Some of his
other skills would certainly help a football team. What he did in
Denver in a year ago, that was something else. The man can play
football. How you utilize him would certainly be the key.
on our football team right now, so it's my duty and responsibility to
give some thought on how he could help us win the next football game."
Another pressing issue is wide receiver Santonio Holmes,
who is recovering from foot surgery. The Jets want him to take a pay
cut on his $11 million base salary, according to sources. If he refuses,
there's a chance he could be released.
Mornhinweg said he hasn't talked to Holmes.
"I would expect him to be healthy at some point before training camp," he said.