Now that we are a few hours removed from “the decision”, time for some thoughts. As if you didn’t know already, Rex Ryan has announced at his press conference this morning that Mark Sanchez will be the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rex cited the fact that he seeked out many opinions in making this decision, and then fell back to the idea that Mark Sanchez “gives us the best chance to win”. He said it was ultimately his decision and that he has a great relationship with his owner.
Now to comment.
It is certainly feasible to see Rex’s point of view, if in fact it is his. The Jets are still “technically” in the playoff hunt, and if you are going to try and win out, Mark is the known commodity. When you need to win the rest of your games, it’s difficult to put your faith in a quarterback that has played a quarter and a half of a regular season football game. We have talked about it before, a coach lives and dies with “his” quarterback. Sanchez came into the league at the same time Rex became head coach, they are joined at the hip forever, for good and bad. People like to work from places they feel comfortable, and Rex feels comfortable with Sanchez.
Trouble is, Mark doesn’t give them the best chance to win anymore. His confidence is shot. We talked about it already, look at his press conference, and his body language on and/of the field. He is a beaten man. Everything around him has not helped, but he is beaten. No he has not played well, yes there are other factors, but whatever the reason, Mark has been beaten down. He is not a man that seems ready to re-take his position as a team leader. He needs to sit, clear his head, and see the field from a different perspective, longer than just a quarter and a half. Coming back so quickly might be deterimental to Mark as well as the team.
Although Rex also said Mark’s contract had nothing to do with the decision, sorry I am not buying it. For anyone who didn’t watch the press conference, Rex said a lot about his relationship with the owner, but didn’t say anything about the GM. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It says to me that Mike T had a lot to do with this decision. He made a big investment in Mark Sanchez, and has over EIGHT MILLION reasons for it to work out. Mark Sanchez is due over $8 million in guaranteed pay, whether or not he plays for the Jets. That’s right, there is no off-set in the contract, so he is due the money whether or not he is on the Jets. Sports decisions are not made in a vacuum, and unfortunately, money has a lot to do with that decision. I believe that Rex was HEAVILY influenced regarding the contract. Is it Mark’s last chance to prove he can make it in NY? Maybe. But they are going to do everything they can to see if this can work out.
I am not a fan of this decision, I think they need to see what they have in Greg McElroy. Do I understand it? Sure, but don’t agree.