Jets Coach Rex Ryan on His Quarterback Situation
By Alan Schechter
Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) is congratulated by backup Tim Tebow (15) after a Sanchez threw a touchdown pass in the first half against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
As the weeks go by, the “Tebow Time” questions begin to mount. As Mark Sanchez continues to be mediocre at best, everyone wonders how long he will remain the starter, and Tebow will remain in the wings. Through it all, Rex Ryan has remained steadfast in his support of Sanchez. What he won’t do, however, is say that Sanchez will be the starter for the rest of the season. Here is what he had to say on the subject:
A lot of things can happen and I’m not going to deal with “what-ifs” because I’m telling you right now he’s our starting quarterback this week, barring injury. Things happen, but I feel really confident in Mark. You’re right, I’ve never wavered on that.
When asked if Tim Tebow would be a Jet through his entire contract(as Woody Johnson stated), he hedged a little bit:
Yeah, he’s a guy that, when we traded for Tim, we understand his contract situation. Yeah, without question. We brought him in because we think Tim’s a good football player. With that being said, and this goes for any player, Tim (or) any player we have, if we assume that they’re going to be with us, we think the guys will be with us throughout the length of the contract. There’s no guarantee there that if, there’s an opportunity to help your football team, if we see fit, whatever’s in the best interest of our team, then I guess no players totally guaranteed that they’ll be there. Clearly, he’s a guy that we thought a lot of, and that’s why we traded for him, and (we) still think a lot of him.
Is Mark Sanchez affected by Tim Tebow?
It’s an interesting question, but I think the way I feel about it, I think we answered that question when we drafted Mark. Because playing in this market, not every quarterback can play quarterback in this market. I know there is more pressure. You mentioned bringing Tebow in. Obviously with his popularity and all that, that could be a distraction, could be a whatever, but quite honestly, Mark views it as Tim’s a good teammate. I think that’s the way it is. Mark knows he’s our quarterback and he tries to hit that practice field every day to get better and I think that’s what really drives Mark. He knows he has a job to do and I think he prepares that way.
From a football standpoint, it is understandable why Rex won’t commit for the rest of the season to Mark Sanchez. He really can’t announce that someone will be a starter for the rest of the season, because the lineup has to be subject to change. But in this situation, he could stop a lot of the media questioning if he made an exception with Mark.
Not doing it adds fuel to the fire of people that think the inevitable is coming by the end of the season.