Pssst! Mark Sanchez Is Not Very Good! -- Mark Sanchez is HORRIBLE. He's hesitant. He second guesses himself frequently and second guesses his receivers twice as much. He waits 'til his receivers are open to throw. His velocity is bad. His deep throws are short. His accuracy is abysmal. Sanchez's mental fortitude makes Tony Romo look like Ron Swanson. The problem of course is that this organization has staked their reputation (TWICE if you count the new contract) on the viability of Mark Sanchez as not only a starter but the center of their franchise and he has responded with a dutch oven quality of "poise" (remember that word in conjunction with Mark Sanchez?) and grace. The Jets front office and coaching staff are totally unwilling to see what the reality of the situation is - which is that he is a double-pumping abortion of an NFL quarterback.
Well, That Was Somewhat Unexpected -- In my mind this outcome was always a possibility, but one that seemed improbable until I read Bob Glauber's article yesterday saying that it's worth giving Sanchez the shot now that he's actually been benched instead of his coaches and staff hinting at being benched. I still disagree, because I think that Sanchez will let everyone down again because he's not going to quickly become a master of reading a defense with three extra days of practice. While totally illogical, it actually falls in line with Ryan's standard issue consensus and/or indulgent decision-making in regards to his players to go right back to Sanchez, no matter how much Ryan might want his quarterback to not turn the ball over repeatedly and have other players on the roster who could do that for him. This in many ways actually strikes me similarly as the news that Ryan activated Tim Tebow against the Patriots while the backup was suffering from broken ribs simply because Tebow said the magic word - please. Ryan is always willing to give his guy one more chance. Then one more chance to the last one more chance. Then one more chance to the one more chance of the one more chance ... Putting all the rumors and reports from the last couple of days aside, the decision should be Ryan's alone to make, not Tannenbaum's. Not Sparano's. Ryan's his willingness to passively accede to what we've been told is Tannenbaum's wish in this is cagey, but a decision that Ryan could and should have made on his own without the help of a doomed GM.
Painted in a Corner -- The developmental plan that the Jets had with Mark Sanchez has been terrible: green means go, Joe Girardi's sliding pointers, a coordinator who valued weekly surprise over a proper QB developmental plan. The Jets grooming of Mark Sanchez has resembled more of a brutal mauling. Even with all that, the worst thing they could have done was hand him the contract they did this past offseason. Everything they've done since the season started has hinged on the fact that Mark Sanchez's contract is hanging around the team's neck like a millstone. The worst part? It was a WHOLLY UNECESSARY deal that the team struck with him as Jason points out on NYJetsCap.com. Had the Jets not been so financially invested in Sanchez, he should have gotten pulled, in EITHER of the Dolphins games. But he wasn't, and he likely won't be because of the burdensome commitment the team had made to him.
Rumors -- Let's recall how popular rumors passed down about how Mike Tannenbaum (allegedly) got the top job in New York and then kept it three years later; it's widely rumored (not fact) that going into the 2006 offseason, he squealed to the press about how incompetent his superior Terry Bradway was in the face of the Herm Edwards "trade" to Kansas City. Woody was exasperated with Bradway at the time and public disclosure made the whole team look bad. That (alleged) backstabbing spread like wildfire in the press and public; to the point that Johnson relegated Bradway to whatever dusty role he now holds -- and elevated Mike Tannenbaum to the top spot in the bargain. Three years later, Tanny forced Brett Favre onto his good "friend" and coach Eric Mangini (who now claims he "sold out" to Jets ownership on the matter) who only asked that he not be fired no matter how the season went. How did that work out for Mangini? Mike Tannenbaum saved his own skin over that of his friend and then in the coaching search, barred the team from talking to coaches the caliber of Bill Cowher because he would have essentially lost control of football ops in the bid. Those are just a few stories, and beyond that, we have repeated examples of players saying that Tannenbaum "lied" to their face in regards to new contracts; Kendall, Baker, Leon Washington, Revis ... on and on and on ... Even just yesterday, Braylon Edwards called Mike Tannenbaum an idiot in a veiled tweet about the Jets organization. The bottom line? All the rumors and jilted ex-players as character witnesses we have paint a less than flattering light of Mike Tannenbaum as a GM.
Tell Me What You Really Think -- This is a terrible football move and this decision is one almost exclusively driven by numbers. Oh and as we wrote about earlier, by wholly unnecessary and short-sighted numbers. With four years left on Sanchez's deal and money assured to Sanchez next year by the Jets, the Jets chances and maybe even longer-term continuity/viability have been done in once again by more bad football decisions made at the quarterback spot by the same front office that made a similarly fatal mistake in 2008 - the one that did in Eric Mangini. I'm not grieving for Mangini, believe me, but I think that starting Mark Sanchez this coming weekend is a mistake, but not one that hasn't been a mistake since at least the first Dolphins game this season where the Jets offense looked totally listless did as much as they could to lose the game and fell ass-backwards into a win. Even with all the warning signs, Rex Ryan has done nothing about it. I don't love the Jets backups, but I do love that they aren't Mark Sanchez. I think that it was a mistake that Sanchez was never benched as a lesson in his rookie year or any year thereafter and now the team has reaped what they've sown. The Jets are making a terrible mistake in not benching the multi-million dollar assfumbler, but if they are going to give him another chance, at least have the decency to the fanbase to yank him quickly if he yet again craps the bed during the course of the game. Give us some reason to cheer, PLEASE.
Nothing Changes -- Sanchez will start, but he won't have sprouted new receivers since last weekend. He won't have realized he doesn't need to triple pump and then pat the football before he throws it each time. Maybe he realizes his career is on the line, and maybe he responds and plays like Montana for a quarter, for a half, for a game, for the rest of the season ... in the end though, nothing changes. Mark Sanchez has been stripped bare of all the trappings and we've seen what he is ... at best, a backup quarterback in the NFL. Whether the Jets bench him this weekend, at the end of the year, next year ... sooner or later someone will be running the organizaiton that sees Sanchez for what he is ... a dead albatross around this organization's neck, and all I need to do is wait those decisionmakers out. Because the one thing that I do know is that I'll still be a fan when these coaches and office staff are getting getting run out of their next job in some lesser media market, five years from now.