The other day, we joined our friends at Turn On the Jets to discuss the Jets QB competition. I’m sure that nobody who reads this blog regularly was surprised when I chose Mark Sanchez to win the competition.
This morning, I wanted to take the conversation one step further. Today, I give you my prediction for how the entire QB depth chart will play out to start the season. So, here we go:
STARTER: Mark Sanchez
Ooh, big surprise here, huh? It would probably be the most shocking item out here on the web if I didn’t predict Mark to be the starter week one. This result will disappoint many Jets’ fans that want Mark out the door, but this is the way it’s going to go down.
Why? The reason occurred to me while watching the NFL Network yesterday afternoon. They were replaying the game against the Steelers from December of 2010, when the Jets won their first game at Heinz Field, 22-17. In that game, Mark was 19-29 for 170 yards. He did it by taking short, three-step drops, and making quick decisions.
That, my friends, is exactly what the West Coast offense is all about. Watch any team that runs the West Coast or any variation thereof, and you will see it. 3-5 step drop, read, and throw. No time to think, and get caught up in your own head. If you think about Mark Sanchez’s worst plays, they come when he takes a deep drop and has to stare the field down for an extended time. When he drops for a quick slant or a quick in-cut, his passes are accurate.
Mark Sanchez will take to Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, and will take to it quickly, earning him the starting job week 1.
BACKUP: Geno Smith
Yes, Geno will be the second string quarterback when the Jets break training camp. In rookie camp, he is already showing excellent leadership skills, meeting with his linemen in their room to practice cadences, being able to audible already….etc. He’s working hard, and his play is already getting the attention of the coaching staff.
But his rookie camp play is not the reason that Geno will be number two. He will be number two because he has a chip on his shoulder, thanks to the mainstream media. You have all see the criticism he has gotten by now. Despite what he says, he doesn’t like it. It’s human nature for him not to like it. When someone wants to prove people wrong, they work that much harder to do it. Geno will have a terrific camp and he will be the number two.
No, he won’t be the number one, because the Jets are going to be careful with him. They are not going to rush him to the forefront of this team. Rex Ryan and the staff are going to make sure he is ready to go. If Mark falters, sure he will be there. But not right away.