New York Jets – Sanchez Best Served As Backup?

TJ Rosenthal examining the ramifications of Mark Sanchez potentially starting the season out as the New York Jets backup QB

It may not be the worst thing in the world for Mark Sanchez, if Geno Smith ends up getting the starting job in week one. The Jets coaching staff and fan base already have a short rope waiting for Sanchez anyway. If Smith falters or goes down, Sanchez could re-enter under different circumstances. Needing only to perform in more meat and potatoes second string fashion. If Smith succeeds, the Sanchize, could enjoy a season with no hits to the body, while collecting a healthy paycheck for it. Before going on his way to a similar role even further under the radar…as a backup most likely elsewhere, where even less will be expected of him.

Sanchez not only needs to find his own sixty minute in-game confidence again. He must
also regain that trust with teammates, who lately have been complimenting Smith…not him, on athleticism and arm strength shown in Cortland. Maybe the early part of the new campaign will be a good time for Sanchez to sit back and observe how those kind words directed towards Smith translate into on field production for the rookie second rounder.

Because if they don’t, and Smith starts (thanks to the views of Rex Ryan, John Idzik and whoever else has a say in the matter) but comes out of the gate looking like an overmatched rookie, Sanchez could somehow find himself as a desired alternate option at some point in October. Imagine that.

Sanchez almost can’t win as the starter right out of camp with the majority of home crowd diehards who have little faith in him, unless the Jets win two games in September and he avoids one or two poor performances at most, during that time. Despite the Jets needing immediate contributions from an unproven WR corps, a new backfield, a first year Jets OC, and a new system on offense.

A “Geno Leads the Jets” scenario could actually help both QB’s in the long run as well. Smith would become the Jets future, and Sanchez could preserve his body, shop for a place that wants him as the backup, and lower the meter that still grades him under QB1 paramaters of “next level potential” to the QB2-low ceiling of “effective game manager.”

For Sanchez it would be a role that he has already performed well in at times throughout his four year career. Especially during the postseasons of 2009 and 2010. When a stout defense and run game allowed him to focus on ball security and a modest gameplan in order to win. Coming in second for now, could ironically help Sanchez out in 2013 and beyond.

  • joeydefiant

    Mark Sanchez will be a Raider nxt year. The fans will have to get over the hot dog. He’ll go as insurance and end up starting due to poor QB play from all their other QBs.

  • David

    Sanchez is already doomed as the NY Jets starting QB. Jets fans have already grown sick of Sanchez, so every incompletion or interception he throws, even if it isn’t completely his fault, the boos and cheers of GENO, GENO!! will grow louder and louder.

    I hope last year’s stint with McElroy and how little he really did shows people that there were more issues on the NY Jets last year than just Mark Sanchez!

  • joeydefiant

    There are a large number of fans who still think macelroy should be the starter. I am really hoping they cut him and keep Simms.

  • Check out Vladimir Ducasse preparing for this upcoming season #jetset

  • joeydefiant

    I expect Sanchez to be leading the Raiders to the playoffs next year and ressurecting his career. If not the Raiders perhaps Jacksonville.

  • KAsh

    Sanchez benefiting most from being the backup is a weird notion. For one, fans do not and should not determine who starts. Sanchez has to convince the coaching staff that he can play better than Geno. And that he can play through the booing, which, lets be honest, will accompany him as long as he plays in NY, as long as he does not win a Super Bowl, and as long as he is on a team that leads with its defense.

    If Geno wins the competition, Sanchez’s only benefit would be a season sitting back and working on the kinks in his game. This might be better than playing, especially if they are the types of problems that cannot be solved on the field. But he will miss a year of experience, which is a detriment regardless. Geno, as a rookie, will be given a longer leash. So Sanchez would only play if Geno got hurt; this also would not endear him to the fanbase or lessen the pressure on him.

    As far as I know, his teammates have not stopped supporting him. Yes, they comment positively on Geno, but that is either support or talking up Sanchez’s competition, depending on your viewpoint. Sanchez’s best case scenario is the Brees route, where he proves wrong all the people trying to get him to ship out and then goes to a team for a nice raise and a high draft pick.

  • Harold


    McElroy did get a concussion early in that game FWIW.
    But that aside I hope Sanchez is traded for his sake and we pick up Trent Edwards who already knows Marty’s system as a back-up. A 5th or 6th rounder plus taking 1.5 to 2 million in salary would be a win for the Jets. If Geno continues to progess throughout training camp he will have an excellent opportunity to win the job.

    One report I read said Sanchez has started to pump fake the last two days of camp. Never a good sign for him. Hopefully he can get over his demons and become a solid player again (not in New York).

    Lastly TJ, you mentioned that he was a game manager but he had 29 TD’s and 33 INT’s in 2009-2010. Not great ball security. So although that was his only job he was not great at it.

  • The Jet Report

    “Postseason” 2009 and 2010.. Not regular season. Agreed though, he wasnt the perfect model
    for game mgr those regular seasons either.

  • John C

    New York Jets – Sanchez Best Served As Backup? Yeah, in Kansas City! I do think Sanchez would be best served to be backup, because if he should start the season, and not go, say, at least the first 3 games, without a turnover, he will be crucified by the fans, and revert to being his shell-shocked self. The fans would probably not be quite as bad, if he were coming in because Geno failed or got hurt, but he’d still have to look great or we will be rooting for the third stringer

  • Geronimo

    As a developmental qb on a defense-first team, Sanchez was never in a good spot. I have never heard any young qb repeat the phrase “I have to stop making mistakes” so frequently. If this is what the guy is thinking, he’ll never be a good qb.

    Imagine Favre speaking like this…

    I’m not saying Sanchez is a good qb, but I know he made some pretty plays down the field in his first couple of years. You don’t see those plays anymore. It is my feeling that Ryan’s attempt to play defense with his offense played a role in turning Sanchez into a basket case of a qb.

    I know people will disagree with me here. But I’m not talking about winning games. I’m talking about becoming a good qb. This is what Steve Young was talking about when he said Ryan had to “bring light” to the offense. He wanted to see the same attacking attitude there.

    Now, today, Ryan has made this shift. Smith is in a completely different situation. He has an aggressive, creative OC who wants to make the most out of his qb’s natural gifts.

  • Angel

    Sanchez’ career is over with the Jets. The NY media will take him down no matter how good he plays from now on. AND the Jets fans will think whatever Cimini and Mehta tell them to think.

    Man, I hope Sanchez does go to the Raiders and plays well. I’ll root for him to play well, even when he plays against the Jets… every time he plays against the Jets [like I did with Chad Pennington]. Of course I’ll always root for the Jets to win, though.