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Mark Sanchez: Nothing more important than Broncos


The Mark Sanchez comeback story has been written over and over in different forms since he was selected No. 5 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.

If nothing else, the veteran quarterback has been forced to become a politician of sorts, though it isn't really his fault. His time in New York flamed out due to a constant shift in offensive theory, a deconstruction of a veteran offense and an executive staff that did not replenish the well with any first-round draft picks. Sanchez might have been a better player if his tenure was handled differently, and if he played for a different head coach.

"Coming to the Denver Broncos, this is a gift-wrapped opportunity. I believe in fate and destiny," Sanchez recently told The Denver Post. "There's no excuse. I need to take full advantage. There's nothing more important in my life than this."

Part of this feels rehearsed. Sanchez was brutally picked apart in New York for just about every aspect of his personality -- again, in no way was this his fault -- and so sound bites like these tend to be the safest and smartest way to go. It's what people want to hear. But Sanchez might be right about one thing: fate could be on his side.

This is without a doubt the best offense Sanchez has been a part of since 2010, when he had an in-prime Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes on a prove-it deal and Jerricho Cotchery to throw to. LaDainian Tomlinson was still wildly effective at 31 and the Jets' offensive line, with few exceptions, was one of the best in football.

And now the Broncos are struggling to find anyone for Sanchez to compete with. The Colin Kaepernick trade is still treading water, and it's difficult to imagine the team getting a better option that late in the draft next week. Brian Hoyer is on the market now, but is he a better option at this point?

Sanchez, for his part, has improved since his time with the Jets. The largest knock on his game, decision making and accuracy, improved in some aspects under a better scheme in Philadelphia. Sanchez's completion percentage alone jumped from 54.3 percent to 64.1.

Kubiak's system also protects quarterbacks and focuses on the run. It can elevate play (clearly) even when the player behind center isn't at his best.

So maybe, after all the time we've spent writing about the Broncos' quarterbacking situation, the answer has been there all along. Maybe it really is a gift-wrapped opportunity.


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