May 22, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws a pass while being watched by quarterback Geno Smith (7) during the New York Jets organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Are there two guys that are going to have the spotlight on them more than the two guys pictured to the right? After what went on last year at the quarterback position with the New York Jets, it’s hard to believe that two guys will be watched harder. It’s understandable, being that it is a battle at the most important position on the field, in the biggest media market in the universe.
So, how is it going to turn out? Who is going to take this down, at least to start the season? Well, here is where I get you guys talking, probably disagreeing with me, for the most part, but that’s OK. I am still sticking with my guns on this one. You are probably not going to be surprised by this answer coming from me, but week one, when Darrelle looks across the line, he will see Mark Sanchez calling signals, standing over center.
Here are five reasons why:
EXPERIENCE: No matter what you think of Mark Sanchez, this factor cannot be discounted, sorry. Mark Sanchez is a four-year starter in the National Football League. Recent results not withstanding, it is far easier said than done for a rookie to come in and just beat out a four-year starter. Especially one that has four road playoff wins to his credit, and two near trips to the Super Bowl.
It was a lot different when Mark won the job. He won it over Kellen Clemens. Nuff said.
CONFIDENCE: There was a lot of talk last season about how Mark Sanchez lost his confidence. It was obvious when you watched him sink his head on the sidelines, and when you listened to him speak after ballgames. Mark had no idea which end was up. Coming back into camp, Mark is a different guy. We will see how it translates onto the field, but he is talking like a leader, finally. In his first two seasons, Mark was a confident guy, and got the job done.
Time for history to repeat itself.
TENACITY: Even when he hasn’t performed well during the season, Mark has always had tenacity. Every year, he works hard to be ahead of the learning curve with the offense. Whether it is by running his camp out west, seeking out Chad Pennington for Sparano advice, or seeking out Jeff Garcia to learn Marty’s offense, Mark does everything that he can to learn the product well enough to be the on-field teacher.
This is what we want from our quarterback. His experience is something that his teammates can get behind. Mark has to be able to teach this team in Marty’s style while on the field. His ability to work hard will vault him to the front of the line, and relegate Geno to the bench, for now.
REX’S CHOICE: What do I mean by this? Rex Ryan is saying all of the right things, about competition, and “earning the job back there”. Rex is handling it publically the right way, but what about behind closed doors? Let’s look at the circumstances.
Most see coach Ryan in a “lame-duck” season, thanks to the hiring of John Idzik. People think that it will just a matter of time before Idzik replaces Rex with his own guy. This being the case, Rex is going to want to go out his way. He isn’t go to turn the keys to a rookie quarterback again. Geno would have to blow Mark away for that to happen. Can it? Sure, and God bless him if it does, I just don’t see it.
John Idzik won’t impose Geno as the starter either. John knows the perception regarding himself and Rex. John cannot add to that by imposing his will on the roster playing time. He can influence the roster choices, but not the starting lineup. If he forced the Jets to play Geno, it will be obvious that Rex has no say, he should he relieved of his duties following the announcement of Geno as starter.
FAMILIARITY: Yes there are new faces in town, but they aren’t all new. You still have Holmes, Kerley, Hill, Powell…etc. The Jets have their share of players that have been in the league for more than 2-3 years. Mark Sanchez, and his familiarity with these players will be enough to keep Mark in his position.
As I said, this take probably won’t surprise anyone. Go ahead and sound off below.