Jets Interviews to Save Their Jobs Start Tomorrow in Jacksonville
By Alan Schechter
Dec 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the game at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Tomorrow afternoon, the Jets take on the 2-10 Jacksonville Jaguars. As we have talked about before, the Jets begin this final quarter of the 2012 season playing for pride, as the playoffs are pretty much out of reach. But, they are not only playing for pride. They are playing for jobs. This is especially true for the guy pictured right, and he knows it. He is not only playing for his job.
He is playing for Rex Ryan’s too, and maybe Tannenbaum’s.
Mark Sanchez is up against the wall, starting with tomorrow’s game. For the first time in the three plus years he has been the quarterback, Mark Sanchez was benched. It was clearly a shock to Mark’s system, so much so that he didn’t even believe it when his offensive coordinator broke the news. Mark was so surprised, and in disbelief, that he had to go ask Rex Ryan if it was true. He took a hit to his system and his confidence. I have made the argument all week that he should not start this week because his confidence is so shot, but that is immaterial now. Mark is back in the lineup, so we go forward. He came out of the game, and he knows he can come out again.
Tomorrow afternoon, Mark takes the field against the 28th ranked pass defense, and the 31st ranked run defense. All of the elements are in place for Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense to have a bounce back performance. But does anyone EVER have confidence that this offense is going to have a great performance? I know that I sure don’t. We have all seen the decision making of Mark Sanchez. It isn’t good. Would anyone be really shocked if he threw another 3 INT’s tomorrow?
Mark knows that he is being held accountable now. He knows that he is on a short leash, and could come out of the game if he struggles. With the playoffs being out of reach, the Jets are clearly looking at Mark to see what they have going forward. Will he improve, and reaffirm the organization’s confidence in him, or will he continue to struggle, and reaffirm the need to bring in competition? Only time will tell, and that starts tomorrow.
Mark’s interview starts tomorrow.
Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan smiles before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Despite his statements to the contrary, Mark is interviewing for this man’s job too. Rex Ryan’s future is ABSOLUTELY tied to the success of this quarterback. There is no question that this is the case.
No relationship is tied together more closely than head coach and quarterback. Look at Belichick/Brady, Payton/Brees, Dungy/Manning. Go back further you have Walsh/Montana, Noll/Bradshaw, Johnson/Aikman, and countless others. Whether Rex wants to admit it or not, he is joined firmly at the hip with Mark Sanchez, because that is the nature of the beast. Head coach and quarterback are linked. No way to get away from that.
It’s especially true for THIS head coach and quarterback. One of the very first moves he made was to scout this quarterback. Rex and the rest of the organization liked this guy, and wanted him BAD. Rex went to CA to scout this guy himself along with the rest of the higher-ups. You don’t go along with a blockbuster trade involving multiple players to move up to #5 in the draft to pick this guy unless you want him bad. Now they are stuck with each other. Add that to the fact that owner Woody Johnson actually wanted to see MCELROY this week, and that cements it even harder. If Rex is going to stick with this guy, his future is tied to him. Mark’s success will be Rex’s, but so will his failure. Mark, by extension, is interviewing on behalf of Rex as well, potentially.
What about Tannenbaum?
He could be interviewing on behalf of Tanny as well. Depending on your outlook, Tanny’s job may be hanging MORE on Sanchez’s play than Rex’s. Rex didn’t put this roster together, Tanny did. The roster is not a contending team’s roster, despite what Rex boasted early in the season. That falls on Tannenbaum. And the quarterback situation can be pinned on Tannenbaum as well. This was the big move for a quarterback in the Tannenbaum as GM era. Chad Pennington was not drafted by him, and we can all forget about Kellen Clemens. Mike scouted Sanchez as well, and executed the trade to ensure his selection. The backup situation is solely on Tannenbaum as well. To his credit, he brought in Drew Stanton, at a fairly cheap price. That would have been the perfect, able-bodied backup that can come in and win. But no, he traded draft picks to get Tim Tebow, and the distractions that he comes with. Before that? He gave Sanchez an extension that guarantees him over EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS next year, even if they release him. He is supposed to be a cap genius?! Cap novice, tops. Tops!
Tannenbaum has over eight million reasons to see this work out. If it doesn’t, Mike Tannenbaum has a good chance of getting his walking papers. Owners don’t like to see their money wasted.
Mark Sanchez is interviewing for his position, no doubt. But he is interviewing for a couple of others as well.