Why Won't Rex Ryan Criticize Mark Sanchez?

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Nov. 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan shakes hands with quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) before the game against the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

It is not atypical by any means for a head coach to have a special relationship with their quarterback. We see it all the time, Sean Payton and Drew Brees, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning just to name a few, as well as in the past, with guys like Don Shula and Joe Montana, and Bill Walsh and Joe Montana. The quarterback embodies the coach’s vision on the football field, so naturally the relationship is going to be close. That gets magnified when the coach is in their first head coaching job and drafts their quarterback, like John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco.

So, it is no surprise that Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez have a close relationship. Heck, he did take Rex to back to back AFC championships in their first two seasons together. But, the last two seasons have not been as kind, like we have all seen. No matter what the reason, the external factors, or your feelings about this quarterback, the fact is that he has regressed. He consistently makes horrible decisions at important times. What is most frustrating is the fact that when he is making GOOD decisions, he can make all of the throws that anyone can make. But for some reason, Rex has a difficult time talking about Mark Sanchez’s faults. Take a look at his answer when asked what Mark Sanchez can improve on:

I think you’d like to see strides by every player. Specifically for him, it falls more on the unit. More in particular, you want to see the unit improve. To say well he needs to throw more completions to this guy or that guy, I don’t really know. I just know we have to get better. Collectively as a unit, you have to try and improve some things. Is that quarterback rating? I think our biggest thing that we need to do offensively is protect the football. I think there are other things we’re making strides in, but obviously, we have to protect the football. (When) you turn it over five times, you’re not going to beat anybody. That’s clearly something that we’ve talked about. We’ve put together videos of how to protect the football. We have clips of every single player we have on how to hold (the football), what the opponent is seeing, everything. You name it. We’re trying to find answers and solutions to it.

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