NFL Columnist Pete Prisco sits down with The Jet Press


Outspoken but respected CBS NFL Columnist Pete Prisco sat down with The Jet Press for a Q&A on the Jets including Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Tony Sparano’s offensive philosophy among other things.  We wanted to cut through the fluff other analysts and columnists throw out so we got Pete to give us the hard core honest truth….. enjoy!

NFL Columnist Pete Prisco isn't a fan of OC Tony Sparano's run first philosphy.

JP – Coming into the league, Mark Sanchez had very little experience compared to your typical highly drafted QB, last season he was inconsistent but he was one of 22 players in NFL history to pass for 26 ore more TD’s in a season before the age of 26.  He’s been the leader in comebacks and come from behind wins.  Why can’t he take the next step into the top 10 QB’s in the NFL?

PP – I don’t know if he’s going to get into the top-10. But he CAN move up. I think this is a team that needs to allow him to do more on first and second down. If that happens, he plays better. It’s that simple.

JPGoing back to the end of last season, given the way it ended, what would you have done to fix this team?

PP– Get a new offensive philosophy. They are too run-heavy in a league where the pass is first. That has to change.

JP- Do you agree or disagree with the way Mark Sanchez has been developed here with the Jets and if not, what would you do differently?

PP– Like I said, he needs more freedom. You can’t tell if a guy can truly play if you keep asking him to make plays on third down. Let him dictate tempo more.

JP – It seems everyone with some sort of platform is deciding to jump on the Tebow train and most analysts, not necessarily RESPECTED analysts but analysts nonetheless are predicting he’ll be the Jets starter by no later than week 5, do you concur with them?

PP – NO I do not.    Tim Tebow can’t pass. That’s why he can’t be the quarterback. He can’t throw at all. He can’t read defenses. He is a gimmick. If he plays, the front office will see changes. It’s that simple.

JP- What is your honest opinion of Tim Tebow the Quarterback and do you honestly see him one day being the sole franchise QB of a football team?

PP– No. He is a backup. He struggles to understand the passing-game concepts. That’s what you need to win in this league. He’s a career backup.

JP- What do you need to see out of Mark Sanchez at minimum this season in order for the sharp criticism to go away?

PP – If given the chance to throw more and early, he has to be successful. No more babying him. It’s his time. If he can throw for 3,500 yards and 27 TDs, the critics go away.

JP–  In your opinion, why is it that QBs like Matt Ryan who have been abysmal in the playoffs and Josh Freeman who had more turnovers and less TDs than Sanchez last season get passes from the media even though they have been in the league as long or longer than Sanchez?

PP – Ryan is a better player. That’s why. He hasn’t had success in the postseason, but he has had some good regular seasons. Freeman took a hit last year, so I don’t think that’s accurate. He tried to do too much. He’s in bounce-back mode. Sanchez also gets more of it because he plays in New York.

JP – Do you think OC Tony Sparano has what it takes to join the club of former failed HC that have succeeded as coordinators? If so why?

PP – I am not a big fan of the run-first approach. If Sparano thinks that’s the way to win, he will fail.

JP – Say the Jets go 6-10 this season for WHATEVER reason other than serious injuries to EVERY STAR player on the team, what should happen to Rex Ryan and/or Mike Tannenbaum?

PP– I would think they would be in big trouble, especially Tannenbaum. Ryan might get another year, but I would think Tannenbaum could be gone.

JP- Give me your surprise Superbowl predictions, not winner but the 2 teams that CAN make it to the Superbowl this season but that no one is expecting them to and your reasons why.

PP– Bengals and Falcons. The Bengals have a ton of young talent and they also have a nice passing combo in Andy Dalton and A.J Green, who should be better with a full offseason. The Falcons are loaded on offense and the new focus on the deep ball will make Julio Jones a star. 

JP–  Give me your official prediction for the Jets record this season and brief summarize your logic behind it.

PPI see 7-9 to 8-8 to maybe 9-7. I just don’t think they rush the passer well enough and I don’t think their restricted style of offense will work. If Tebow takes more than three snaps a game, they will be in big trouble.

Follow Pete on Twitter ~> @PriscoCBS