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What Is Sanchez Really Missing?


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I am not sure I can remember a team in recent NFL history that has the quandary at quarterback facing the New York Jets.   One may look at certain numbers and assume the Jets have their franchise quarterback for the next 10 years.  Frankly, some of the positives are startling and historically impressive.  Two AFC Championship games in his first two seasons,  in the process becoming only the 4th rookie quarterback to win his first playoff start and one of only two to win their first two playoff games.  Sanchez has won 31 games as a 3-year starter for the Jet’s, compare that to Brett Favre, the NFL record holder for wins, who won 28 games in his first three years starting for the Green Bay Packers.  Sanchez has compiled a 4-2 record as a playoff starter, all on the road.  In his first three years he has orchestrated eleven 4th quarter game winning drives, matching the numbers of Peyton Manning in his first three years with the Indianapolis Colts.

So where’s the quandary, right?  Sanchez has never completed 60% of his passes, a benchmark for success when considering a quarterback’s accuracy.  He has thrown 55 touchdowns and 51 interceptions, not great numbers especially when you consider the run support he enjoys.  Those numbers improve moderately as a play action passer and Sanchez is at his best when out of the pocket.  I think what surprises me most are his horrific numbers when the Jets attempt to stretch the field.  As the 2011 season was winding down Sanchez had completed less than 20% of his passes 15 yards or longer, and that trend did not improve much in the 2012 season.  His short passing game isn’t much better.  He has the arm strength to make all the throws, but often forces the receiver to slow or adjust to his pass reducing the yards after catch statistic.

Even his intangibles are confusing.  He seems to have the support of his teammates.  He organizes the Jets West camp in the off season, and by most accounts has the work ethic.  But many question his leadership skills.  His poor body language as things are going badly is clearly evident.  Recent rumors have surfaced since he became a Jet that maybe that work ethic is not really where it needs to be.  He isn’t immersing himself in game films as he should be. For a team that is starving for leadership, it would have been an ideal year for Sanchez to offer some, even if just by example.

I am certain most Jets fans would agree that Sanchez’s lack of growth, perhaps even deterioration, can be attributed to several factors.  First and foremost the inability of Brian Schottenheimer  to give this offense an identity.   There were games I wished Rex Ryan’s Dad Buddy Ryan were there to take a poke at Schottenheimer.   I was very concerned going into this year that the wholesale changes to the receiving corps while a fragile third year quarterback was still finding his way, was  questionable at best.  Finally, the offensive line has become increasingly worse with each passing season.  Sanchez clearly looked uncomfortable in the pocket this year, more so than in previous seasons.

If you believe everything you hear from Jets camp, Sanchez is their man.  He is entering the 4th year of a 5-year contract.  I suspect if they go into the 2012 season with Sanchez at the helm, chances are he will eventually sign an extension and he will be the Jets quarterback, for better or worse, for the foreseeable future.  The question is, do the powers that be believe what they say?  If they make a serious play for Peyton Manning, they should be very certain they can sign him.    I doubt it will play out in a similar fashion to the failed courting of Nnamdi Asomugha that lead to the re- signing of Antonio Cromartie.   I cannot envision a rosy relationship between the Jets and Sanchez after a failed run at Manning.  Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that they land Manning.  Is the current Jets personnel good enough to ride an aging yet talented quarterback to the promise land?  Where would that leave the Jets 3 years from now?  No Manning, no Sanchez, and no long term solution at quarterback.

So what’s really missing?  It’s simple, another quarterback to come to New York and proclaim “I am better”.  Since the day Sanchez was handed control of this franchise he has never looked over his shoulder.  He has never known the fear of losing his job.  He never had a competitor show up for work at 5AM to study that week’s opponent.  To me, it’s almost irrelevant if he has a good or even questionable work ethic; competition will always make you work harder.  Perhaps keeping aging veteran Mark Brunell was good for the early development of Sanchez, but it is time to light a fire in his belly. It’s time to find out if he is our long term solution or just another Browning Nagle; but because he wins, hasn’t been exposed as a fraud.  The Jets don’t need Manning.  What they need is an affordable but crafty quarterback that can start in the NFL.  Somebody that puts Sanchez on notice, but doesn’t send him packing just yet.

So if we all know competition makes you better, why doesn’t management make this move?   I am not sure Tannenbaum is quite ready to face the truth.  The idea of being so close only to find out it was all smoke and mirrors may be more than he is ready to discover.   Could you imagine Kyle Orton strolling into camp and thumping Sanchez?   While that may not be the best news for Tannenbaum or Jets fans, neither is extending Sanchez’s contract only to learn this is as good as it gets.   General Managers are paid to get those answers.  We need this answer right now.

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Sanchez's problem is that you took a first grader and forced him into AP Calculus and ruined his brain. It was a bad job of developing an inexperienced player that, if it's fixable at all, will take a major concerted effort and patience to repair, neither of which this GM or coach can or will commit to because it's easier to just replace him with Matt Hasselebeck.

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Ok, just read the article.

In sum, it's schotty, the offensive line, and the lack of a real back-up QB that's responsible for Sanchez's performance.

Sanchez's contribution is completely ignored.

Revolutionary stuff.

I might be reading the vip version. But the jist of the article i read says he needs to work harder.

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Sanchez's problem is that you took a first grader and forced him into AP Calculus and ruined his brain. It was a bad job of developing an inexperienced player that, if it's fixable at all, will take a major concerted effort and patience to repair, neither of which this GM or coach can or will commit to because it's easier to just replace him with Matt Hasselebeck.

The Jets drafted him to be The Man .

We heard he can make all the throws.

And in Year 4, the Plan now is to run more and pass shorter. Which is somehwere between laughable and scary.It cannot be true. Yes, the OL broke down due to Mangold's injury and Hunter sucking. But it's more than the OL. The QB is not remotely competent.

The CS is trying to massage the fact that they have a turd of a QB. They know it. Everyone knows it. He is not going to morph into a 30TD/12 INT/4000 yard QB. He cannot do it.To spend another season pretending otherwise is striclty job preservation.

Simply there is no great dilemma. Get the replacement here and be done with it. Whether that's Manning or Flynn or Hasslebeck or Henne or McElroy, do it and don't have a 2nd thought. And if that's too much for Pick 6's fragile psyche, too freaking bad. More reason to get him to the arena league where he belongs.

And again, I would love to be wrong.

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OK we know the people here that rip sanchez at any opportinuity but this writer is saying he needs to step his game if he wants to remain the QB of the Jets. There are two sides of every story- many people to blame for the past Jets season-not just sanchez

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Great article.

Two Comments. IMO one of Sanchez's main problems is his Emo personality, and the west Coast lay back attitude. Could this be solved by competition? Perhaps, or throw him into a major tail spin. Either way it answers the question.

One thing you didn't mention is the durability of Manning. I doubt he will finish the season even if he can throw the ball.

All in all, one of the fairest articles I've read

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One of the root problems that set the table for the current Sanchez dilemma is being handed the starting job on Day 1. He has not had to prove himself or earn anything at all for that matter, as would be the case anywhere other than Rex's Bizaro World.

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Mental Toughness

Physically, we all saw last year that he could take a beating. But when you have Cris Collinsworth saying in the 4th qtr of the Ravens game that "Mark Sanchez looks like he has had enough for tonight." That sets off alarms to me. His just sitting there on the bench in the final game against Miami not even looking at pictures trying to figure out what the Fish were doing pissed me off to no end.

His body language in that game and those last three games was so bad that he looked like he had given up on the season. Now who know what was going on internally but if alot of it is true then not only does Holmes have alot of fence mending to do with his teammates that so does Sanchez.

I would be willing to give him 2012 to see if he can right himself. If we get another year like this past season then I would be looking for a new QB in the 2013 draft.

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The Jets drafted him to be The Man .

We heard he can make all the throws.

And in Year 4, the Plan now is to run more and pass shorter. Which is somehwere between laughable and scary.It cannot be true. Yes, the OL broke down due to Mangold's injury and Hunter sucking. But it's more than the OL. The QB is not remotely competent.

No it's not. Sparano has made it clear we want more plays of 20+ this year, that's one of his major focuses right now.

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Mental Toughness

Physically, we all saw last year that he could take a beating. up on the season.

Chuck Wepner could take a beating, too. Mental toughness, my a$$. Now Eli is mentally tough -- hanging in there, taking a shot and completing the pass. Sanchez runs in panic while pooping his pampers.

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What Sanchez is missing is an offense and a real Offensive coordinator. Hopefully Sparano can fix half of that equasion. The relentless bashing of Sanchez on these boards is beyond stupid. The comments like "He Sucks" when half the offense actully sucks are comical to a few members on these boards but for a 25 year old QB he has accomplished a lot in his 3 year career, more than most in that same time frame and more than most do in their entire careers.

He did have times he played bad last year thats obvious but he still threw 26 TD's and had 32 TD's over all. He played very well in the playoff games we did win and should get credit for that but somehow thats just passed over or pushed aside. We all know he needs to improve in a few areas and he has the talent to do so but giving up on him and relentlessly making fun of him in the childish way some do is getting to the point it takes away the desire to even come to these boards to have some positive outlook on the up comming season.

He took some huge hits because his tackles cant block on either side and he was obviously not comfortable in the pocket for good reason. No QB can succeed with old crappy skill players and young ones who have nothing to offer like McKnight and Powell. To top that off he had to deal with WR's who historically have been problems for previous teams Plax was always an Issue for the giants and Holmes was basicly booted from the steelers for a reason SB winning catches dont make a career unless your a Jets fan then they seem to define careers.

Its pretty obvious one of the most important parts of our O-line took a huge step back last year and anyone with any football knowledge at all could see how that effected our running game, our passing game and our QB in big ways. if this team wants to make strides on offense and give our QB a fighting chance to improve rather than regress then its time for some BIG changes on offense or it will be more of the same this year. Sure we have a few holes on defense but I think our offense is in complete shambles and I hope this organization finally spends some early picks on offensive weapons which will take a lot of pressure off our young QB. If they dont get ready for more of the same on both the team and these boards that much I can promise. This organization needs a philosophy change in the offseason

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think this is a great article. I agree with Mr. Allen that Sanchez has looked great on paper given the teams playoff success at his young age, but the trutrh is that he has not demonstrated the ability to thrown down field consistently. The temptation is to blame Schottenheimer for all that lacked in the offense this year, and he certainly deserves it, but a healthy share of the blame must fall on Sanchez.

What I find particularly intriguing is the insight concerning complacency. Have the comparisons to one Joe Willy permeated and settled between our young QB's ears? Nothing like a little competition in camp to bring someone back down to earth. I am not ready to give up on Sanchez quite yet, he has the tools. But make no mistake about it, if the offensive coordinator calls the plays that would allow Sanchez to be successful and he can not deliver, the Jets will never be more than a wild card team with him at the wheel.

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