When Does Matt Cavanaugh Get Blamed for Quarterback Play?


July 29, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) prepares to throw a pass while quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh (left) hits Sanchez with a pad during a quarterback drill at training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

A lot of criticism comes to the Jets quarterback play, and rightfully so. No matter what your opinion is of Mark Sanchez, it is undeniable that his play is nowhere near what we are looking for on a team with Super Bowl aspirations. The NFL is a quarterback league, and the play needs to be better.

But who is to blame? A lot of people are quick to blame the player. Mark Sanchez has been here for four years, why is he not taking the steps necessary to improve? He definitely still does make similar mistakes to ones he made as a rookie. His decision making is still suspect at times. Certainly not unfair to assess some blame there. What about the front office? They change his weapons every season. How is he supposed to get chemistry with receivers if they are never the same? Where is the depth? God forbid someone gets hurt, who is Mark supposed to throw to? He can only do so much. There is that valid argument as well.

The Jets have put a lot of blame on others, most of all Brian Schottenheimer. The offense was supposed to take off with Brian gone, now that hasn’t happened. Now what? There is one guy that has seemed to be made of Kevlar, and it isn’t fair. He has been Mark Sanchez’s position coach since he was drafted, and has been here through Mark’s progression, or as some would say, regression. That guy is Matt Cavanaugh.

Why is he still employed?

What are his qualifications to be a quarterbacks coach? Yes, he did play the position from 1978-1991, but, how well? For his career as a journeyman quarterback for four teams, he recorded 28 TDs, 30 INTS, and a 71.7 passer rating. Do these numbers sound familiar at all? I know the saying “Those who can do, those who can’t, teach.”, but does that mean we need a coach that is going to teach his pupil to be as bad as him. That is not going to work.

But yet, he was hired in the NFL. Not sure why, but OK. He first was an offensive coach with the Cardinals from 1994-1995. That offense ranked 27th in the league in both years! He moved on to the 49ers in 1996, and that offense did rank 3rd, but it had Jerry Rice and Steve Young. Sorry, not a testament to the brilliant coaching mind of Matt Cavanaugh.

He moved up in the world to Offensive Coordinator of the Chicago Bears for the 1997-1998 seasons. Those offenses ranked 28th, and 25th. So goes the glowing resume of offensive mastermind Matt Cavanaugh. He moved on to the Ravens as their coordinator from 1999-2004, which includes the Super Bowl title in 2000. The rankings were: 14th, 14th, 18th, 23rd, 8th, and 20th. In the Super Bowl year they ranked 14th. Two good years out of 11 in the NFL on offense? This is the guy that can teach our quarterback to get it done? Seriously.

It’s a joke, and it’s finally time for Matt Cavanaugh to get the blame, and get out.