A Candidate Who Has a Clue Jets GM Hopeful Ted Sundquist Predicted Sanchez/Tebow Might Not Work—Just Check His Blog
Sundquist predicted the Jets would have a mess at quarterback.
That the Jets have been tight-lipped about their general-manager search is, if possible, both surprising and expected.On the one hand, since hiring Rex Ryan as coach in 2009, the Jets have been the NFL's equivalent of a traveling salesman on a cross-country flight: They're going to talk, whether you want to ignore them or not. On the other hand, headhunter Jed Hughes of Korn/Ferry International KFY -1.15%
is in charge of finding the new GM, and Hughes has a reputation for conducting searches that are always thorough and usually quiet.But if the Jets' reticence about the process makes it difficult to get a read on whom they might hire and, more important, how their next general manager might go about business, at least one candidate has eliminated some of the guesswork.
Ted Sundquist, the Denver Broncos' general manager from 2002 to 2008, interviewed with the Jets late last week, according to reports. (A Jets spokesman said the team wouldn't comment until the search had run its course.) But if the Jets or any of their fans wanted to get a sense of Sundquist's views or philosophies on drafting, signing or trading players, all they had to do was go online.Sundquist, who didn't respond to attempts to contact him, has maintained two websites, TedSundquist38.com
. There, he has blogged about the various decisions that a general manager must make, critiquing actual player-personnel scenarios and questions that had arisen around the league. In light of Sundquist's posts, it is no wonder Hughes, owner Woody Johnson and team president Neil Glat would want to interview him, for he has written in depth about the Jets—their quarterback situation, in particular.
For instance, in an entry on TedSundquist38.com dated March 26, 2012—four days after the Jets acquired Tim Tebow
from the Broncos—Sundquist wrote that Tebow would go "up against another stressed out signal caller in New York's Mark Sanchez" for the starting-quarterback job. He accused the Jets of lacking "a detailed developmental plan" for grooming Sanchez into a franchise quarterback after they drafted him with the fifth overall pick in 2009, and he argued they needed to put one that could help Sanchez and Tebow into effect."For either young player to thrive this season it will be important that the Jets be upfront and communicate with both exactly what their role will be," he wrote. "Otherwise NYJ will likely enter 2012 with two 'head cases' under center."
As it turned out, Sundquist was right: Other than naming Sanchez the starter and Tebow the backup, the Jets never did set specific guidelines for how they would use the two quarterbacks, and each one's play (and in Tebow's case, playing time) suffered. Sanchez had the most trying season of his four-year career, completing less than 55% of his passes and committing 26 turnovers.In a Dec. 19 post on TheFootballEducator.com, Sundquist suggested the Jets should have seen such problems coming.Sundquist wrote that Sanchez, while in college at Southern California, had "violated the 36/60 rule when he was drafted" by the Jets. That is, he had neither started at least 36 games nor completed at least 60% of his passes during his collegiate career, making him a risky selection."These are hard numbers that paint a compelling picture of future success," Sundquist had written in an earlier blog post. As an example,he cited another former USC quarterback: the Kansas City Chiefs' Matt Cassel, who had attempted just 33 passes in college, signed a six-year, $63 million contract in 2009 and was now all but finished as Kansas City's starter."The numbers just didn't add up," Sundquist wrote Nov. 22, referring to Cassel's deal.
Granted, it is easy to second-guess general managers' decisions after they have made them. So what would Sundquist do if the Jets were to hire him ? He addressed that topic on TheFootballEducator.com on Jan. 7—just days before the Jets reportedly interviewed him.Within his first 30 days as general manager, he wrote, he would follow six principles that Michael Kanazawa, an expert in corporate strategy and transformation, had espoused for implementing an organizational action plan. Sundquist also cited research showing that the most important and positive steps a new senior executive can take in his first 100 days on the job are "to assemble and solidify a team" and "articulate a vision and goals."
The source of that research ? Korn/Ferry International.