Changes are under way in New York, with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer exiting and Tony Sparano coming in as his replacement. And on Wednesday morning, an eyebrow-raising story hit the NYC tabloids, with unnamed players suggesting QB Mark Sanchez is unmotivated and the team would be crazy not to go after Peyton Manning if he becomes available. It begs the question: Are the Jets better off without Mark Sanchez?
For years, I've struggled to fully understand why so many seemed to unquestionably accept Mark Sanchez as a franchise quarterback. It seemed premature. Yes, he had four playoff wins over two years, but for every flash of success, he displayed plenty of struggles.
Strangely, I now find myself in slight defense of Sanchez: Practically overnight, his time is suddenly done? If you defended Sanchez before this season, suggesting he was a solid QB mostly because he led the team to a pair of AFC title games, how do you not give him at least another season to vindicate himself from 2011? I've never been a major advocate of Sanchez, but I also think this feels like yet another overreaction. This time, it's just in the opposite direction.
Once again, I think the Jets players and team officials who ripped Mark Sanchez don't have a lot of spine. Why wait until a failed season is over before anonymously shredding him? Same thing they did with Santonio Holmes.
That said, if the Jets can get Peyton Manning, they shouldn't hesitate one bit. It's a win-now move -- like it was when they tried it with Brett Favre -- and that's the mindset for Rex Ryan and his staff. Another step backward and they could be out on the streets. The remarks about Sanchez being lazy and content were damning, as were the complaints that he should never have been a captain. If even one player has that lack of faith in the quarterback, the fabric of the team unravels.
Back to Manning: If he's available, the Jets need to be at the front of the line to get him. But frankly, after seeing how players abruptly turned on Sanchez and Holmes (in addition to other drama), I'm not sure Manning would want to go into that type of asylum.
The jackals have really surrounded Mark Sanchez to tear him apart in the New York tabloids. There is nothing I hate worse than guys hiding behind anonymity to rip a guy. And to make it better, the anonymous players are begging for Peyton Manning to join the Jets. Way to roll out the red carpet by ripping the current quarterback -- anonymously.
I'm sure Manning is clamoring to join a team of misfits and malcontents. He really seems like the kind of guy who would enjoy the mid-carders sneaking behind his back to talk to the tabloids. If I'm Rex Ryan, I find out who these guys are and release them immediately. There is no need for that. The stories of the Jets locker room don't paint a pretty picture. And I can guarantee you that Manning does not join that circus. So by anonymously ripping your quarterback, you just ensured you won't be getting Manning. Congratulations.
As I've been saying for two years (and as we discussed with Carolina's Steve Smith on our most recent podcast), Mark Sanchez is a subpar NFL quarterback. Can you honestly name five worse starting QBs (aside from the guys forced into the lineup because of injury)? Seriously, give it a shot ... and don't be so quick to put Tarvaris Jackson on that list.
I think Peyton Manning will be cut loose by the Colts' new GM, but he'll obviously be a dicey proposition next season. Then again, if the Jets go into 2012 with The Sanchize as their starter and no failsafe backup, they could be high enough in the 2013 draft to pick another USC QB (Matt Barkley).
The Jets are sticking with Mark Sanchez. They need to get back to what got them to the conference championship game two years in a row, and that's running the ball. Take a look at the 49ers and Texans -- that's who the Jets used to be! Peyton Manning isn't coming to New York and no one knows if he can ever play again.
- Twitter @NFL
@nfl I feel its an insult 2 now want 2 turn ur back on the QB who lead u 2 2 AFC championship games. #InstantDebate — DonvellWilkins (@DonvellCWilks) January 11, 2012
@nfl they need a QB who isn't dazzled by the lights of NY. A true football player who has the veterans respect, not a playboy.#InstantDebate
— Dante Szafranski (@Dante_sz) [January 11,