New York Jets 2012 Schedule

The New York Jets 2012 schedule

Here is the New York Jets 2012 Schedule

Week 1: Vs. Buffalo, 1 PM

Week 2: At Pittsburgh, 4:15 PM

Week 3: At Miami, 1 PM

Week 4: Vs San Francisco, 1 PM

Week 5: Vs Houston, 8:30 PM (Monday Night)

Week 6: Vs Colts, 1 PM

Week 7: At Pats, 4:15 PM

Week 8: Vs Miami, 1 PM

Week 9: Bye

Week 10: At Seattle, 4:05 PM

Week 11: At St. Louis, 1 PM

Week 12: Vs. New England, 8:20 PM (Thanksgiving Night)

Week 13: Vs. Arizona, 1 PM

Week 14: At Jacksonville, 1 PM

Week 15: At Tennessee, 8:30 PM (Monday Night)

Week 16: Vs San Diego, 8:20 PM (Sunday Night * Could Be Flexed)

Week 17: At Buffalo, 1 PM

Bring on the Bills

Analysis coming shortly…

New York Jets: Expanding Tebow Past Quarterback Is Smart Move

The New York Jets plan to use Tim Tebow as more than a quarterback is a wise decision

The early talk out of the New York Jets first voluntary workouts yesterday is that Tim Tebow will not just be used as a backup quarterback but will also line up at H-Back, fullback, running back and the personal protector on the punt team. This is a smart decision that will allow the Jets to both maximize Tebow’s skill set and add another dimension to their offense and special teams.

If Tebow is going to be on the field 20-25 snaps a game as Rex Ryan indicated. You don’t want him throwing the football on anywhere a high percentage of them. You also want him disrupting Mark Sanchez’s rhythm as little as possible. Tebow lined up as H-Back or running back provides the threat of a trick play or given his size and running skill set, the opportunity to simply hand the football off or throw a screen pass to a strong runner.

You are maximizing your investment on Tebow if he is your number two quarterback, Wildcat quarterback, number three running back and backup H-Back, along with him contributing on special teams.

The potential for Tebow on Mike Westhoff’s punt and kick units is exciting. When lined up as a personal protector, there is a constant threat for a fake. If he is the team’s holder, the same threat is there. If you line up to punt on 4th and 3 from the 50 yard line, you can have Tebow take a shotgun snap and hopefully barrel through a lane for the first down or pull up and deliver a short pass to one of the ends.

Ideally, Tebow’s presence will push Sanchez to performing more consistently and the Jets will use Tebow in enough ways to fill up the stat sheet. How about 20 snaps that have Tebow finishing with 5 carries for 25 yards, with 3 of those carries converting first downs, 2/2 passing for 15 yards, 1 reception for 10 yards, and a special teams tackle along with serving as a valuable decoy on the rest of plays?

It could happen if the Jets are smart about his usage.

When Quarterback Rankings Go Wrong: Jason Smith Of NFL.com

A recent ranking of NFL quarterbacks by Jason Smith of NFL.com has TOJ scratching his head

Jason Smith is a fantasy football writer for NFL.com. However, he recently ranked the top 32 quarterbacks in the league not based on their fantasy projections but just on where each quarterback in the NFL currently ranks heading into 2012 overall as a player. The list was a head scratcher to say the least, particularly with his classification of Mark Sanchez who continues to receive zero respect from any mainstream media analysts.

Sanchez is number 23 on this list. Behind Andrew Luck, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Robert Griffin III, and Jake Locker. Let’s ignore the fact that Sanchez has more playoff wins (4) than all of these players combined (0) and then just compare stats.

In 2011, Sanchez threw for 3,747 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions with a 56.7 completion percentage. He also ran for 6 touchdowns, en route to leading his team to 8 wins. One other note, Sanchez has missed 1 start in 3 years of being a NFL starter.

Sam Bradford missed 6 starts last season. When he was on the field, he threw 6 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and had a 53.7 completion percentage. After a strong rookie year, he regressed. Sanchez has improved every single year since coming into the league.

Josh Freeman did have a higher completion percentage than Sanchez last year, at 62.8. He also threw for less yards at 3,592 and threw 22 interceptions to 16 touchdowns on a team that won 4 games. He regressed substantially in his third year, while Sanchez…at least statistically, did not.

Carson Palmer went 4-6 as a starter last year for Oakland, while throwing 13 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. He was also outplayed by Sanchez head to head in a playoff game in 2009, when the Jets beat Cincinnati in their building.

As a rookie, Jack Locker played meaningful snaps in three games. All three were losses. He threw a total of 66 passes last year. In Sanchez’s rookie year he won two road playoff games and started 15 regular season games.

Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck haven’t played a NFL snap yet. They could be Akili Smith and Ryan Leaf for all we know.

Other crazy parts of this list include Matt Ryan being listed ahead of Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. Ryan Fitzpatrick being ranked higher than Alex Smith and Tim Tebow not being included while Colt McCoy and Chad Henne are.

Can New York Jets Running Game Be Dominant?

Can the New York Jets return to having a dominant running game in 2012?

The New York Jets were 22nd in the NFL last season when it came to running the football, finishing with 105.8 yards per game. In 2009, Rex Ryan’s first year, they finished first in the league at 172.2 yards per game and in 2010 they dropped to fourth at 148.4 yards per game. Obviously, they are trending the wrong way and last year clearly failed to keep the “Ground” in “Ground and Pound.”

What is it going to take for the Jets running game to return to its once dominant form?

First off, the hiring of Tony Sparano to replace Brian Schottenheimer would seem to be a step in the right direction. Schottenheimer became increasingly pass happy in the previous two years, while the general impression of Sparano is that he is content to operate a run heavy offense. We know that Mark Sanchez performs at a higher level when the running game is humming and he could work off play action. Beyond that, a successful running game will help mask some of the inevitable problems the Jets will have protecting Sanchez with somebody like Wayne Hunter or Vlad Ducasse at right tackle.

Second, the Jets current group of running backs has so far proven to be nothing special. Shonn Greene has looked like a back who needs a strong compliment and isn’t capable of creating big plays. Joe McKnight has never really been given the chance to use his abilities on offense and Bilal Powell looked very average when given opportunities last season. The Jets are going to need Greene to run with the explosiveness he did during his rookie year and for McKnight to provide the compliment he needs. We saw Reggie Bush flourish in Miami last year, McKnight has a similar skill set and should be able to use his speed to create plays on the edges.

The real x-factor this season with the running game is Tim Tebow. I was not in favor of the trade for a variety of reasons, but at a minimum Tebow should provide a much needed shot in the arm to the Jets rushing attack. His ability to run the ball himself will provide another compliment to Greene and will open up lanes for both Greene and McKnight when the Jets are using the Wildcat or option.

Tebow rushed for 660 yards last season at 5.4 yards per carry. If the Jets had added a running back who did that last season, you’d be excited about them finding a needed 1B back to Greene right? There is no reason the Jets shouldn’t punish teams in short yardage situations with Tebow, Greene and fullback John Conner. Tebow’s threat to keep the ball will also create big creases on the edge for McKnight to take advantage of his speed on option pitches or sweeps.

The Jets haven’t done much this offseason to improved their passing game, pass rush or ability to cover the tight end yet by bringing in Sparano and Tebow, they have taken strides to move back towards having a dominant running game. A dominant running game has the ability to mask many other problems.

TOJ New York Jets Mock Draft 1.0

TOJ rounds up all the recent mock drafts and gives his selection on who the Jets will take at number 16 in the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is only 22 days away. Let’s take a look around at what various mock drafts have the New York Jets doing with the 16th overall pick and then we will give our current projection:

Don Banks, Sports Illustrated – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Mel Kiper Jr, ESPN – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Todd McShay, ESPN – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Walter Football – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Rob Rang, CBS – Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

Pete Prisco, CBS – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Draft Countdown – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

TOJ –  Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Analysis: Roll Tide. Barron and Upshaw have been popular picks for the Jets since the day the season ended. Both players were key parts of a National Championship defense and both players fill huge areas of need for the Jets. At this point it seems that Upshaw is the pass rusher who matches up the best to the Jets spot in the draft. Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples should both be off the board. Andre Branch probably could be selected in the late 20s. Despite rumors of the Cowboys being interested, #16 seems a little high for Barron who the Jets might be able to trade back a few spots and still grab. Floyd’s stock has been soaring and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him selected in the top ten.

Upshaw would be a solid selection, although there should be concern about him fitting into the 3-4 outside linebacker role. At 279 pounds and lacking an elite burst off the ball, Upshaw could be Calvin Pace 2.0. A player good against the run, who struggles in coverage and gives you 6-8 sacks per year. He has also had knee issues over the past few months.

At the moment, Upshaw does seem like the safest bet for the Jets at 16, if he is still on the board. Here are TOJ’s projections as of right now in descending order of likelihood

5. Stay Put and Take Michael Floyd – It is hard to see the Jets prioritizing a receiver in the first round with the type of offense they plan to run but Floyd’s talent could be too much to ignore if he is still available at 16.

4. Trade Up For Melvin Ingram/Quinton Coples – Mike Tannenbaum has never been shy about going to get his guy. It would cost the Jets a hefty price to move into the 7-9 range needed to select one of these guys but they could view Ingram’s value as too much to ignore.

3. Trade Down For Andre Branch – Depending on how the board breaks, the Jets could look to move back 10-12 spots and select Branch, a player they are apparently pretty high on while accumulating another pick.

2. Stay Put Or Trade Down A Few Spots For Mark Barron – The Jets could be content to take Barron at #16 if Upshaw is off the board or they could trade back a few spots and look to still grab him. An intriguing scenario could arise if the Jets trade back to the 27-29 range for Branch, see Barron beginning to fall and then use the extra pick/picks acquired in the Branch trade to hop into the first with a second pick and maybe grab both.

1. Stay Put And Take Courtney Upshaw – Seems like the safest bet at the time.

New York Jets: On Hard Knocks, Rugby and Jerseys

TOJ with a collection of thoughts on Hard Knocks, the team’s new jerseys, Hayden Smith and more

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has stirred the pot on rumors of the team doing HBO’s Hard Knocks for the second time in three years. Despite a reported less than enthusiastic response from Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and some of the players. I think the impact it has on the team’s success is overstated. We saw them reach the AFC Championship the last time the cameras were in training camp and if anything they’d be more prepared for the extra cameras this time around. Beyond that, there is already going to be a excessive media presence because of Tim Tebow so why not entertain the fans? Hard Knocks has no impact on the X’s and O’s…Wayne Hunter and Eric Smith as starters do.

The Jets have turned some heads with the signing of former rugby star Hayden Smith to play tight end. The big fella is 6 foot 6, 265 pounds and runs a 4.75 forty. It is hard to have any real expectations for somebody who has never played the game but you hope he could quickly pick up some blocking skills and use his size to shield off defenders in the passing game to become a contributor eventually. At a minimum, he will be an intriguing person to watch throughout training camp and the pre-season. You can’t fault the Jets front office for creativity in attempting to find talent.

I wouldn’t expect the Jets to make another move in free agency until a few weeks after the draft, when they will likely check out Braylon Edwards depending on if they select any wide receivers in the first few rounds.

The new Nike jerseys were released yesterday…no big changes for the Jets. Maybe when the alternates are unveiled, we will see a different option for them to wear besides the hideous blue and gold Titans jerseys.

The focus is going to shift to the NFL Draft in the coming weeks, where there remains 7-10 viable options on the table for the Jets in round one. Look for our coverage to become much more draft heavy leading up to April 26th.

Santonio Holmes, The New York Jets Bogeyman

The New York media has continued vilify Santonio Holmes and the fanbase is blindly hopping right on the bandwagon

Big bad Santonio Holmes is at it again. The poster boy for the New York Jets locker room dysfunction grabbed himself a front page of The Daily News by giving the following quotes to Manish Mehta in the middle of one of his off-season workouts in Florida –

“The media don’t make me and the media don’t break me…I am Santonio Holmes and that’s it”

“You haven’t seen Santonio Holmes stories in the news since the season was over”

“My offseason is just beginning”

“I don’t care”

Yes, that’s it. That is everything Santonio Holmes said, everything else that is being trumped as headline material was said by an unnamed player who trains with Holmes or his strength coach Tom Shaw. All those words about “chanting for Tebow” or wanting “the damn ball” didn’t come from Holmes mouth, they came from yet another anonymous source or a strength coach.

Unfortunately, most people have been too lazy to make this distinction and are ripping Holmes for his continued selfishness. In reality, all he has done this off-season is stay out of the limelight and spend two weeks in Africa helping impoverished kids with Pros For Africa. Of course that received no media coverage…that received no headlines. Doing charity work doesn’t sell newspapers unless you are Tim Tebow.

There is nothing wrong with Holmes saying the media doesn’t break him, because it shouldn’t. Just like he said, he shouldn’t give a damn what is being written about him. All he is currently doing is minding his own business, staying out of trouble and working out in Florida to get ready for next season.

The guy made a mistake in the Miami game last year. He was frustrated from being given a number one receiver role and not receiving the looks he desired down the stretch. His behavior was unacceptable but one bad week shouldn’t define his NFL or Jets career, just like we say three bad games last year shouldn’t define Mark Sanchez’s career. Holmes is a Super Bowl MVP and without his clutch play in 2010, the Jets get nowhere near the AFC Championship Game.

The media and fanbase love to pick villains and they have one in Holmes. Don’t blindly hop the bandwagon without taking the time to comprehend what the media is trying to do with a story like this.

History Looks Favorably On Mark Sanchez’s Development

A look at recent Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks early in their career, paints a promising picture for Mark Sanchez’s future

The acquisition of Tim Tebow by the New York Jets has led many to question the amount of faith the organization has in starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. Many fans and league analysts have come out and publicly stated that they do not feel as though Sanchez is the right quarterback for this team now or in the future. Some have even said that Tebow chose to come to the Jets because he believes he can take over as the starting quarterback at some point during the season. However, anyone who feels this way has clearly not taken the time to look at the facts.

There are no excuses to make for Sanchez and his inconsistent play in the final three weeks of the season last year. But those three weeks should not define Sanchez’s career thus for, nor should they write his future. If history tells us anything, it is that most, if not all, elite NFL quarterbacks take time to develop to that level. In observing Sanchez’s numbers through his first three seasons in comparison with the three previous Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in their first three years in the league, it is obvious that this kid has not only over achieved for his age, but more than likely has a future destined for greatness as well.

First, let’s look at games started. In his first three seasons with the Jets, Sanchez has started 47 out of 48 games (Remember, he missed the Tampa Bay game in 2009 after injuring his knee against the Bills in Toronto). Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Eli Manning started 28, 0, and 41 games, respectively. Now, it is hard to argue any numbers Rodgers had in his first three seasons due to the fact that he was sitting behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Brett Favre. However, this also means that Rodgers had ample time to learn, and his growing pains came about on the practice field, rather than under the spotlight of New York as Sanchez’s have. That being said, Rodgers’ and Sanchez’s numbers in the first three years of their careers cannot be compared because there is not a high enough sample of Rodgers’ production during that time.

So let’s focus on Brees and Manning. In Brees’ first three seasons, he completed 540 of his 909 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 59.4. During that span, he threw for 5,613 yards, 29 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He also rushed for 1 touchdown over those three years. Other than an inflated completion percentage due to only 27 attempts in his rookie season, Brees’ numbers in his first three years show he was anything but a franchise quarterback. Even his own team didn’t believe he was the future, and selected Eli Manning with the first overall pick in the 2004 draft, before trading him to the Giants for Phillip Rivers. However, unlike with Sanchez, no one really seemed too concerned with how Brees’ feelings would be affected. Brees went on to have two breakout seasons in 2004 and 2005 before the Chargers let him walk as a free agent and sign with the Saints in 2006. We all know the rest.

Similarly, Eli Manning’s first three seasons were anything but extraordinary. The incumbent Super Bowl MVP completed 690 of 1,276 passes, while accumulating a 54.0 completion percentage, 8,049 yards, and 54 touchdowns. Manning also threw 44 interceptions during those three years. Again, not exactly numbers that scream elite NFL quarterback, and anyone that lives in New York knows that the majority of fans and writers alike were calling for Peyton’s little brother to be shipped out of town. So, how did Manning respond? By coming out the next season and pulling off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. Now he is the Giants’ Golden Boy.

Finally, on to the Sanchise. In Sanchez’s first three seasons, he has completed 782 of his 1,414 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 55.3, more than a full point higher than Manning’s, and very close to Brees’s inflated 59.4. Sanchez has also thrown for 9,209 yards, 55 touchdowns, and 51 interceptions. Although his turnover rate is higher than the other two quarterbacks, his yards and touchdowns are higher as well. He’s also rushed for 12 touchdowns throughout those three seasons. In that same time frame, Sanchez has won four of six playoff games on the road, while neither Brees nor Manning could win one between the two of them.

So here we sit at this awkward point in Sanchez’s career. This is the point where Sanchez has done enough to win over the coherent fans, but has made one too many young mistakes to force the media and fair weather fans to call for his head. Whether people realize it or not, this happens everywhere. Brees was run out of town, and Manning was at the cusp of getting his pink slip as well. The non-believers in these two, now elite, NFL quarterbacks looked plenty foolish while Manning and Brees were busy breaking NFL records and winning Super Bowl rings.

So is Sanchez next? Although no one can predict the future, if history tells us anything, it is that most quarterbacks in this league need time to grow and develop. Sanchez’s early success makes him an easy target anytime he struggles the slightest bit. However, just remember that he is not the only one who faced downtimes early in his career. The best of them have and were able to overcome it, while coming out on top, laughing at their critics.

New York Jets Off-Season: Getting Inside Mike Tannenbaum’s Head

Just what exactly has New York Jets GM Mike Tannenabum been thinking this off-season?

At this point in the New York Jets off-season, it is easy to be a little confused, angry and disappointed. Here is a review of what they have done so far –

  • Signed a highly injury prone strong safety, LaRon Landry
  • Signed a highly injury prone wide receiver, Chaz Schilens
  • Traded for a backup quarterback/wildcat option, Tim Tebow
  • Re-signed Sione Pouha and Bryan Thomas
  • Guaranteed Wayne Hunter’s salary next year
  • Held on to Santonio Holmes by guaranteeing his salary the next two years
  • Signed Drew Stanton…then traded Drew Stanton after trading for Tebow
  • Gave Mark Sanchez an overhyped extension that basically didn’t change much to his original contract but brought a wave of publicity with it

So, what the hell is Mike Tannenbaum thinking? Let’s try to figure it out –

Starting on offense, we told you throughout February the Jets would not be spending big money at the wide receiver position opposite of Santonio Holmes. The hiring of Tony Sparano confirmed a commitment to a run heavy offense and with so much already invested in Holmes, it doesn’t make philosophical sense to splurge financially for another receiver. Their approach is taking a low cost risk on a player like Schilens and then seeing how the draft shakes out before exploring the option of bringing Braylon Edwards back.

Do not look for the Jets to take a receiver early in the draft, unless somebody they fall in love with drops into their lap in round 2 or 3. I would expect them to take a receiver with one of their late round picks and then check out Edwards knee in May. If he passes the team’s physical, he can be brought back on a low cost deal and likely provide all the production they’d need from the number two receiver spot, with Schilens providing insurance.

The Tebow trade was clearly not something in the original off-season plans as demonstrated by the Stanton signing. There was speculation about the Jets signing or trading for another running back to compliment Shonn Greene but bringing in Tebow is going to prevent that from happening. He will be a weapon in the running game more than anything and outside of potentially a mid or late round pick, look for the Jets running back depth chart to stay the same.

Tebow’s trade was fueled by Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano’s desire to run and protect the football coupled with the business aspects of it endorsed by Woody Johnson. Tannenbaum saw Tebow become available, had his head coach, offensive coordinator and owner express interest and made it happen. Mark Sanchez was a peripheral thought in all of this, as I do think the organization still believes he could be the franchise quarterback but saw the Wildcat dimension/business aspects of Tebow too valuable to pass it up. Only time will tell, if it was worth it.

At tackle, Tannenbaum probably looked at Hunter’s contract and figured at a minimum he was a good depth player, which he is and something that the Jets badly lacked last year. The hope in the organization is that with a full off-season to learn the position, Vladimir Ducasse will be a viable option at right tackle. Teams don’t like giving up on second round picks after two years, regardless of how awful they looked throughout those two years. At this point, I fully expect the Jets to open camp with Hunter and Ducasse competing for the job, with Austin Howard maybe grabbing a few reps.

If they struggle, the Jets could hope that Vernon Carey is still on the market. He is a veteran who knows Sparano’s system that could immediately hop in or Tannenbaum could swing a trade in August to supplement the position. It is a risky strategy and not one I agree with, but it appears to be the planned approach at the moment.

Defensively, the Jets wanted to pair LaRon Landry and Reggie Nelson as their shiny, new safety duo. Unfortunately, they struck out with Nelson leaving a gaping hole at free safety. The Jets protected themselves from Landry’s injury with how the contract is structured but the defense will suffer if he misses extended periods of time in 2012. I would expect the Jets to seriously consider finding a way to add a free safety in one of the early rounds of the draft and then bring back Jim Leonhard in May or June as veteran insurance. Missing out on Nelson hurt and the Jets are now going to need to rely on a healthy Landry and likely a draft pick to improve the position’s play.

The team hasn’t been shy about their desire to improve the pass rush. It would be an upset at this point if they don’t find away to take a outside linebacker in the first round. The question is only how aggressive will they pursue one? Would they trade up for Melvin Ingram or Quinton Couples? Could they trade back for Andre Branch? Is Courtney Upshaw on the board for them at number 16? The Jets want a young pass rusher to take Bryan Thomas off the field on passing downs and eventually off the field all together. They likely envision a third down defense that prominently features this first round pick opposite of Aaron Maybin, who should only get better in Rex’s system in year two.

One other thing that should be noted, the locker room chaos last year clearly made a huge impression on the Jets front office. Re-signing Sione Pouha was a smart football move but became such a major priority because he was a respected captain last year. The quick re-signing of Bryan Thomas, a longtime good guy veteran of the organization was also a larger priority than it would have in years past. Bringing back Hunter, who despite his on field struggles, is a respected player in the locker room who stood up to Santonio Holmes slacking last year supports the notion of emphasizing the importance of improving the locker room. Finally, while the Tebow trade was primarily motivated by the Wildcat and business, it would be foolish to think his personality didn’t play a factor in it as well.

So what else should you expect the rest of the way from the Jets? I would look for an outside linebacker and safety early in the draft, along with an eventual signing of Braylon Edwards and Jim Leonhard. If the Jets make an addition at right tackle, it probably won’t happen until training camp. It isn’t the flashiest off-season but the Jets are clearly banking on Tony Sparano improving Mark Sanchez’s play and Tim Tebow adding an element to the Jets offense that will make it harder to defend. Rex Ryan is always going to be confident in his defense and I am sure he thinks with a new pass rusher, Landry, and a free safety the group will take major strides from last year.

Finally, what about that extra money the Jets still have? Remember they are going to have to pay Darrelle Revis next off-season to avoid another holdout, along with Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene’s contracts both being up. Those considerations have to be a factor in the Jets spending right now.

Doesn’t cheer you up? Well maybe this will…feels like a hundred years ago, right?

New York Jets: All About Sanchez Now

The success of the New York Jets 2012 season is going to depend on Mark Sanchez more than anybody

You can speculate about what Tim Tebow will or won’t do this season in the New York Jets version of “The Wildcat” or discuss your ongoing angst about how this team still has holes at right tackle, outside linebacker, and safety (and I do nonstop), yet in the end this season will mostly come down to one player’s actions on and off the field, starting quarterback Mark Sanchez.

There are two different versions of Mark Sanchez you probably hear about. There is the Michael Lombardi/Mike Florio version, who portray Sanchez as a bottom five quarterback in the league who is a mental midget. No success the Jets have had in the past three years can be credited to him, only their failures. Then there is the common sense version, led by people like Trent Dilfer (who you know, watch game tape) and who anybody else that has watched every snap of Sanchez’s NFL career can plainly see:

  • Sanchez is a young quarterback, who struggles with consistency. Like any quarterback, if he doesn’t have protection his turnovers and bad decision making increase.
  • His accuracy is his biggest weakness but has steadily improved. Yet, still needs to get better.
  • He is more mobile and a much better athlete than people give him credit for. His arm strength is also not an issue as he has made every throw necessary from a NFL quarterback.
  • Generally, he plays better in bigger spots and has a knack for late game comebacks/success in the two minute drill.
  • He has improved in every statistical category, every year of his career.
  • Sanchez has had four (and will soon be on his fifth) starting pair of wide receivers.
  • His offensive coordinator was thoroughly below average the past three years and he deserves a chance in a new system.
  • Comparatively, to other first round quarterbacks he has had a good amount of success through his first three years and is pacing well compared to a quarterback like Eli Manning.
  • 27-20 regular season record as a starter. 4-2 record in the playoffs.

You can cut it anyway you want, trading for Tebow is a frustrating situation for Sanchez. He will have a backup who is more popular than him and he will be taken off the field for a handfuls of plays throughout the game to run an offense he won’t be part of. No quarterback wants that. Regardless, the amount Tim Tebow is on the field is really in Mark Sanchez’s hands. If he protects the football and produces with the normal offense, Tebow will be nothing more than a glossy sidenote on the Jets season. The Jets will also likely find themselves as contenders in the AFC again.

Make no mistake, if this team is getting anywhere near a Super Bowl, it is because Sanchez, the best quarterback on the team, has a good year and steps up in big moments. An ideal scenario for this team is that Sanchez thrives as a starting quarterback, while balancing a difficult situation on and off the field while Tebow thrives as role player. At the end of the season, you hope a team that is a desperate for a starting quarterback makes an enticing offer to get Tebow and you install Greg McElroy as the long term backup because you know after 2012 that Sanchez is without question your guy.

Most people see Sanchez cowering under the competition to a quarterback who has accomplished a fifth of what he has in the NFL and who simply put is not a better quarterback than him. I wouldn’t write off #6 so easily.