Dec. 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan stands on the sidelines with quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium. Chargers won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Sanchez may still be here, and so is Rex Ryan, but clearly, the allegiance is changing.
It was not a great day at OTAs for Mark Sanchez yesterday, having a too familiar problem with interceptions. He was even picked on back to back plays, which included one by defensive lineman Damon Harrison. It is early, but it wasn’t good.
The change was in Rex Ryan’s reaction. His days of coddling Mark are obviously over. Here is what coach Ryan had to say when asked if he was disappointed in Mark:
Yes, it is, absolutely. It’s a good thing the defense made some plays, but no, I’d rather (have) him not turn the ball over once, obviously. It’s funny because you can look at the practice, and you guys were out there and you saw it, he did a lot of great things, and then those negative things, but at the end of the day, that’s what gets you beat. We have to do a better job of eliminating those turnovers. The quarterbacks, as I’ve said before, whether it be a running back, whoever, we have to protect the football.
Rex was later asked if Mark should understand how to take care of the football by now:
Again, this is OTAs. But yes, that’s going to be the pressure that we’re putting on him, that no, this is unacceptable. (You) did a lot of great things and it’s not that you try to cover up the fact you had some bad plays, no, you flat tell him, ‘We can’t have these,’ and that type of stuff, and he knows. Right now what’s happening with the offense is you’re putting in a brand new offense and there’s some different things that are going through your head. The fact that the defense is not standing still for you, they’re standing, blitzing (and) doing whatever, it’s probably not really comfortable back there, but that’s exactly why we’re running the defense the way we’re running it.
Again, it is far too early to start making assumptions about anything. It’s been one day. But, what is obvious, is that unlike year’s past, Rex has not thrown all of his support to Mark. Rex really is getting behind the idea of a competition, and that will only mean good things for the New York Jets.