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.