Dec 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) drops to pass as Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams (94) rushes during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28-9. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
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.
Aug. 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard (9) during a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
THIRD STRING: David Garrard
I have always been a David Garrard fan. Beginning in 2006 with the Jaguars, David was a 60% completion percentage guy every year through 2010. In his worst year of that set, his passer rating was just over 81, which obviously dwarfs Mark Sanchez’s 66.
He was also primed to be the Dolphins starter last year. He had an excellent training camp, and was primed to put Ryan Tannehill on the bench to being the 2012 season. However, he ended up with a knee injury that ended that chance, and thus he hasn’t taken a snap in a regular season game since 2010.
That is why he won’t be able to compete for the stop spot in the end. As the preseason rolls along, we will see rust, collected from not taking a regular season snap since 2010. His knee will also limit him, watch for him to me limited in practice on certain days.
In the end, Rex Ryan and Marty Mornhinweg will not feel comfortable turning the team over to him. In the end, he will be the guy holding the clipboard, and mentoring Geno Smith.
ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Greg McElroy, Matt Simms
Matt Simms is here, basically because of his last name. Barring a miracle of epic proportions, Matt Simms will be a camp arm, and nothing more.
On the other hand, the unfortunate deal has been given to Greg McElroy. He will not have a great chance to compete, and it’s a shame. It’s painfully clear that the Jets’ organization doesn’t believe in Greg, or they wouldn’t have necessarily drafted a quarterback so early.
He never really had a chance to succeed here. Last season, Greg McElroy got into one game in relief of Mark Sanchez, and played well. The second game was the game he started against the Chargers, and he just got pummeled, to the tune of 11 sacks. It’s hard to really say he had a chance to show what he could do, lying on his back for most of the game.
But, it is what it is. Matt Simms will be gone quickly, and Greg McElroy will be out fairly soon after. The Jets don’t believe in him, and that is why.
So there you have it, the depth chart for the QB’s in 2013 week 1: Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, David Garrard. Agree? Disagree? Sound off below,