We have all heard the criticisms of Mark Sanchez. Whichever end of the debate you fall on, you know that the criticism is there. The whole offense has to get better, along with Mark. We all saw the product on the field, Sanchez doesn’t shoulder all of the blame. But, as the starting quarterback, the buck stops with him.
Friday is always the day we hear from the coordinators, so let’s see what Sparano had to say about his confidence in Sanchez’s ability to raise the play of the guys around him:
I think first of all to answer your question, yes. Secondly, and this is a little different, but he doesn’t necessarily have to do that. Mark’s a piece to the puzzle. Some of these other guys around him have been here for a while and they have to step up. As I’ve said to them a million times, it’s next man up. You suffer body blows, every team does it. From our end here, we have to be able to do that (and) the next guy has to step up. We haven’t had a guy like Dustin Keller really all season long and Jeff Cumberland I think has done a really good job. Konrad (Reuland) has done a good job of stepping up in there and filling in for those players. I think Mark can do that through his work ethic. He’s kept these players after practice here all week long and he’s spent extra time in the meeting room with them. Those type of things and that’s how I think he can do it right now. When the ball drops you have to go out there and play. He really can’t be worried about that when he’s out there, they have to do their job.
This is what I have been trying to say for a while. Yes, Mark has to be better, but the other guys have to elevate what they are doing right along with him. It takes eleven guys.
Here is what he had to say on how he evaluates Sanchez:
I look at his quarterback play over the last three weeks and I say, ‘Where are we going with the football? What’s the decision grade? What’s the location grade? How many drops? How many shots?’ (A) shot play, when you’re calling it, when you’re taking a chance and you’re throwing the ball down the field like that, your chances of completing those, obviously decrease. You can go out there and throw a bunch of two-yard passes if you want to. (Bill) Parcells used to say it takes 20 of those to score and he’s right. I think that part of it is something you need to look at. When I look at that, I evaluate those things. Mark is making good decisions with the football. He’s going to the right places with the football. There are a couple of them I’m sure he’s told you (he wants back) and he would tell you he maybe should of went someplace else if he had the chance to do it over again, if he had a chance to take a play back. But there are no do-overs. You’re out there and the game is happening fast. The ball is in his hands every single play. He has made very good decisions with the football.