Develop, that is what Tony Sparano is going to have to do with Mark Sanchez in order for the Jets to get to the next level. Throughout his first three seasons Sanchez has proved he belongs. He is a proven winner and has shown the ability to make all the throws necessary to be successful in the NFL. The challenge now is to pair his game winning ability and physical talent with a system designed to help elevate his game to the next level.
His first two years in the league Sanchez operated in a run heavy offensive system. Brian Schottenheimer relied on a solid run game to help open up passing lanes which allowed easy completions and offered protection from the opposing pass rush. While this philosophy led the Jets to two AFC Championship games, Schottenheimer’s offense always featured extensive shifts, motions and checks, which can easily confuse a young quarterback. It always seemed that the offense would successfully ground and pound out of a two back set, hit some play action passes and once inside the red zone, out came the single back motion plays which failed to confuse defenses or offer consistent scoring opportunities.
In 2011 any glimmer of this previous identity seemed lost. No longer was the offense pounding defenses with the power running game, nor were they properly executing down field passes to stretch the field. It seemed as if defenses were dictating the tempo to the offense, which is never a sign of great success. With a poor performing offensive line, no run game to wear down the front seven and a lack of a vertical passing game, defenses could play more base fronts, dropping seven into coverage and relying on four rushers to apply pressure and force Sanchez into making a poor decision into crowded coverage.