New York Media Off The Mark With Sanchez

TJ Rosenthal on the shortcomings of the New York media’s coverage of Mark Sanchez

I know I touched on a somewhat similar topic yesterday with this article but our good friend TJ Rosenthal did such a good job with this piece we wanted to publish it –

Is the local media seriously joking here folks? Is there some kind of newspaper selling conspiracy going on in New York this season, playing off some notion that any scrutiny regarding Mark Sanchez whatsoever will increase paper sales and twitter followers? It sure seems that way.

This week alone, writers from WFAN to the NY Post to the Daily News have told Jets fans to stop thinking Sanchez can be elite, have written about his failings late in Pittsburgh based off of one incompleteion, while refusing to acknowledge the real culprit, a borderline concussion laced hit from Lawrence Timmons is what truly affected the QBs play after the fact. They have asked 6 to grow a backbone with all that surrounds him, in order to finally take control of the team?

Have they also noted that Sanchez currently owns a 95.0 QB rating, percentage points ahead of Tom Brady and three points ahead of Eli Manning, with the same amount of TD passes (4) as the Giants 2 time Super Bowl MVP has? You know the answer to that, so we won’t insult your intelligence.

We are not Sanchez apologists by the way. We have been quite hard on him in the past when we saw that look in his eyes. That of a player who when he struggled for any stretch of time, would become his own biggest enemy. Throughout his first three seasons Sanchez at his worst, has lacked self confidence, pouted, and forced balls needlessly into tightly covered places.

In that time as well though, Sanchez also won four road playoff games, while working through the teams ever changing vision of him. A dizzying sight that has seen him go from handcuffed game manager, to gunslinger, and back again. Do you find that constant request for a change in personality in just three seasons confusing? If you do, imagine how it feels to be Mark Sanchez.

On top of the altering assignments in style handed down from above, 2012 has added the acquisition of uber popular Tim Tebow in March, the many baseless reports of threats to Sanchez’s starting job that followed, early summer issues at right tackle, just one veteran receiver, an entire pedestrian running back corps, and an ever emerging tight end slowed now by hamstring issues.

How’s that 95.0 rating looking now?

Sanchez responded to a scoreless summer in nonsense games, covered as if they choking losses down the stretch in December, by leading the Jets to a 48-28 blowout in week one. It was just the Bills though right? Yea right. Heading into the game, the same revisionists who now tell us how Buffalo wasn’t a true measuring stick, had already predicted Chan Gailey and Co. were  the new challengers to the Patriots throne.

It couldn’t possibly have been the play of that guy Sanchez. After all, that type of cover story doesn’t match the sensationalized one many hoped for with marquee QB crumbling under the pressure of New York as Tim Tebow take over. The fairy tale that the locals have tried to circle around like sharks since the ocean became ripe for swimming up in Cortland back in July.

Why not just tell it like it really is instead?

It’s been a small sample size, these two games, but in them, Mark Sanchez has shown more decisiveness, better accuracy, and a tougher exterior after failed drives so far in 2012. Elite or not elite, the Jets signal caller is not the one who comes to mind, when we think about Jets who absolutely must elevate their play immediately.

We will tell you who those folks are. They are as follows:

The running backs. Can Shonn Greene stay healthy for back to back games? Humor us 23. Be the workhorse for a string of games in row without limping off to the sidelines in the first half.

The Powell McKnight combo under Greene can help ease 23’s workload, but have to give the coaches a reason to be excited. We get that. The coaches however, have to find the guts to highlight their styles, which differ from Greene’s.

Hey Jets, use Powell and McKnight in other ways. They are not guys who will thrive simply by going off tackle.

The receivers. Catch the ball fellas first off. Secondly, Santonio Holmes, sorry but you have to take on more. More receptions. More yards after the catch. More leadership with the kiddie corps of  Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. More presence. You’re the guy. Make that known every week. Sure we loved the three flags last week and the TD. Build off of it.

Now Hill and Kerley have to grow up fast since GM Mike Tannenbaum decided not to bring in any 40-50 catch veterans to allow these two time to mature. This duo must figure out how to play physical against the veteran corners trying push them around. The deep ball to Hill last week deep where Ike Taylor pulled the rookie’s arm away? Push back and make that play 84

Dustin Keller needs to get healthy and finally put a big season together receptions wise. It’s time already.

Tony Sparano  and Rex Ryan need to find a few drives where Tim Tebow makes sense. Not just to aid the offense, but to ease the tension of what effect 15 will have on the entire operation. This unknown is beginning to cause waves and it doesnt need to. Tebow can help as a weapon, the Jets can’t be afraid of what his success will mean to Sanchez.

Rex needs to get this defense, one he tells us all is a top 5 unit, up to speed for four quarters.

The Jets pass rush needs to start getting to the QB, and stop talking about getting to the QB. Create three and outs and allow the offense more time to gel on the field.

Finally, the New York media needs to start moving the spotlight elsewhere. To the deserved and more current areas of concern noted above. Ones that don’t involve Sanchez directly.

Even if doing so means risking the sexier headline.

What fair is fair. The past has passed. You are always judged by what you do “now” in the NFL. Under that premise then, this tunnel vision, thisinability to see the whole field currently taking place in Florham Park, is not coming from Mark Sanchez, but more so from the ones who cover the Jets.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Roundtable – Jets/Dolphins Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game

The TOJ Staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter to check back later in the day for this week’s Fact or False –

Joe Caporoso – The Jets wide receivers/passing game against Miami’s secondary. The Dolphins have a stout front seven, which is going to make it difficult for the Jets to move the ball on the ground with their mediocre rushing attack. However, they are extremely inexperienced and lacking in overall talent in the secondary. There is no reason Mark Sanchez shouldn’t be able to push the ball down the field to Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill similar to how they did in week 1 against Buffalo. Sanchez is already being raked over the coals by the New York media for one loss where he received no support. He could use a nice shut the hell up performance to his critics.

Chris Gross – Reggie Bush vs. Jets Run Defense – This match up could end up being the deciding factor in this game. Bush is averaging 120.5 rushing yards per game, with a fantastic 6.0 YPC average. The Jets rush defense, on the other hand, looked stout last week in Pittsburgh, much improved from the abysmal performance in week 1 when they allowed CJ Spiller to explode for 169 yards and  touchdown on just 14 carries. While New York held Pittsburgh to a mere 66 total yards on the ground, the Steelers were without their primary RB and major offensive weapon, Rashard Mendenhall. The stable of backs that Pittsburgh threw at the Jets do not even come close to Spiller or Bush in terms of athleticism. As noted earlier this week by Joe Caporoso, the Jets have had recent struggles with speed backs that posses home run ability. Stemming from last season, this team was gashed by the likes of Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy,and now most recently Spiller. They need to find a way to neutralize Bush and not allow him to get the ball in space where he is most dangerous. Look for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to key Bush throughout the entire game,as he is by far, Miami’s most explosive offensive weapon. If he can be shut down early,Miami will need to lean on rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to carry them to victory, a daunting task for a first year player against a Ryan led defense.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to is seeing if the Jets can get the run game going and get Joe McKnight involved. The offense clearly lacks playmakers, so seeing how McKnight gets worked in is especially intriguing to me. While the Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the league, their defense is not all that bad. I’m hoping the Jets can start the game off with some consistent running with Greene and Powell and then mix in some Tebow and McKnight to break at least ONE big play in what should hopefully turn into a lopsided win.

Chris Celletti – I feel like the only way the Dolphins’ offense can cause the Jets’ defense any issues is if Reggie Bush goes wild. For me, the biggest matchup of the game is the Jets’ usually-stout run defense against Miami’s running game, (specifically Bush). Just like the Jets’ offense, their run defense is coming off totally polar opposite performances in Weeks 1 and 2. Last week they totally stifled the Steelers’ ground game, but against buffalo in Week 1, C.J. Spiller went for over 170 yards and busted off a couple big runs. To me, the Jets are weaker against speedy, shifty backs like Spiller and Bush, so I’ll be interested to see if they can keep him in check. If they do, the Jets should cruise to an easy win. I simply can’t see Ryan Tannehill having much success against through the air against Rex Ryan’s defense.

TJ Rosenthal – Looking forward to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine taking on rookie Ryan Tannehill. Let’s see if and how the Jets can take advantage of the rookie’s inexperience and in a big picture way, show how they can capitalize on what ought to be an edge on paper and in practice. Tannehill should be confused by the Jets looks, and off balance due to the Jets variety come blitz time. Ryan has done this for a long time. We DO expect the Dolphins QB to look uneasy back there. If not, there is a real problem with a defense that thinks of itself as elite

Rob Celletti– Mark Sanchez vs. the world – Bear with me for a minute.  I know we normally discuss on-field matchups in these roundtables, but in light of Manish Mehta’s lame attempt to undermine the Jets’ starting quarterback, along with Rex Ryan’s shortening temper with the ceaseless Tim Tebow questions, it seems as though the flames are being stoked in the media for some sort of quarterback controversy.  It’s really amazing, considering it comes on the heels of one loss, to a good team on the road; a game that all 53 players, not just one, lost.  Still, being that I tend to focus on the quarterback and am an unabashed supporter of Sanchez, I’m fascinated to see how he responds this week.  This is a mental, emotional, and physical challenge for the quarterback.  He may only be asked to throw the ball 18 or 20 times, but Sanchez needs a solid game nonetheless.  If things are going to be this hectic after one loss, I cannot imagine what it would be like after two.  Especially if that loss is to a poor Dolphins team, a division game that the Jets simply must-have before the start of a brutal stretch in their schedule.

New York Jets – The Sabotage Of Mark Sanchez

Writing against the Mark Sanchez sabotage campaign. When will the New York Jets support their quarterback?

It is no secret the New York Jets haven’t done an adequate job of developing Mark Sanchez since spending a first round pick on him in the 2009 NFL Draft. They certainly did not make a strong effort to upgrade his supporting cast heading into a critical year for his development. A week 1 point explosion against a suspect Buffalo defense temporarily shelved the debate but a disappointing loss to perennial AFC Powerhouse, Pittsburgh has the media hounds and their sources looking pin singular blame on Sanchez and reignite a non-existent quarterback debate.

The Daily News‘ Manish Mehta, he of ever diminishing credibility, published a nearly 700 word story today pinning the Jets loss to Pittsburgh on a single play. A missed throw by Mark Sanchez in the 2nd quarter. This is a play we discussed in our film and Sanchez breakdown over the past two days and yes it was a missed throw by Sanchez on a well-designed play. Yet, to spin 700 words that make Tony Sparano look like Bill Walsh and Santonio Holmes look like Jerry Rice is exceptionally excessive. It is meant to fault the loss on a single player and of course drum up that non-existent quarterback controversy. The tone of the article puts me in agreement with the thought process that there is someone within organization pulling for a Sanchez failure and a Tebow ascension.

Let’s not lose perspective of the following. On the road, against one of the league’s best teams, Mark Sanchez was supported by an underachieving number one receiver giving a lackadazical effort, a practice squad caliber tight end, a rookie number two receiver, and one of the league’s five worst starting running backs. Did he play well enough? No. But if you want to go play specific, you can equally pin the game on Jeff Cumberland for missing a block that would have sprung Bilal Powell for a touchdown. Or how about Antonio Cromartie looked completely clueless on Mike Wallace’s touchdown? Maybe Jeremy Kerley muffing a punt? Or Shonn Greene being unable to make a safety miss as he went untouched for 9 yards through the Pittsburgh defense on what should have been a big play?

Don’t fall for the mainstream media okie-doke. Don’t fall for the quarterback controversy agenda.