Against the Grain: Should Sanchez Start This Weekend?

Common consensus is that Mark Sanchez is done for the year, but commendably  Bob Glauber takes a different approach in Newsday.  It’s one that I don’t agree with, but it’s still well thought out and a good argument that should be made about the Jets quarterback situation.

While it will be wildly unpopular, Glauber writes today in Newsday that Mark Sanchez should be given another chance to start.

… Ryan is now presented with one more chance — one last chance, really — to see if Sanchez deserves to stay. Why? Because Ryan can see how Sanchez does now that the coach has finally doled out the dose of tough love that he should have delivered a few weeks before now. Ryan had never taken the ball away from Sanchez before, and it’s worth one more shot to see if he can respond to the benching in a way that offers any hope for the future.

Look, it’s possible Sanchez already has provided that answer, that he simply isn’t capable of getting any better and it is time for the franchise to move on. It certainly feels that way, especially after the last two games. But Ryan needs to know definitively, and the only way that happens is to see how he responds in this spot. To see if Sanchez responds like he did the first time Ryan even remotely hinted that Sanchez might be benched.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

I don’t agree with Bob Glauber in this, but I can easily see his point.  Now that Sanchez has been benched … how will he respond?  My sense is that the Jets would squeeze a few good games out of him but in the end he’ll just end up reverting back to the same spot he was in the past.  So it’s not worth it, but Glauber’s point about this being a unique situation for Sanchez is one to think about.

The problem for me is that no one knows what’s been said behind closed doors to Sanchez already. No one knows what he was warned or cautioned with and the message to Sanchez should have been clear when the team brought in Tebow.  However you slice it, this season has been about adversity for Mark Sanchez and I’m sorry to say that he’s crumbled under the weight of it.  This was Mark Sanchez’s year to either take a stranglehold of the team or be strangled by it.  We’ve all seen the results.

So now most than likely, the Jets are going to have to move on at the most important spot in football.  Sanchez is four years into his career and is still holding the ball too long.  All summer, Sparano yelled at him to get the ball out more quickly and yet just two days ago he was waiting for his receivers to get open before throwing the ball to them.  That’s not the way a great quarterback plays football – it’s just not – and for him to be making that sort of mistake at this point in his career over and over and over again is colossally bad news.

Rex Ryan should have benched Mark Sanchez for a wake up call long before now, but that’s not the way Ryan works.  We can’t go backwards and that’s why I don’t think he’ll go back to Sanchez.  He’s been long-suffering with his QB already.  He’s watched Sanchez play poorly for too long and now the season is falling off the brink.  How can he trust Sanchez to get it right all of a sudden?  Firing Brian Schottenheimer last offseason was all about finding out whether it was Brian Schottenheimer or Mark Sanchez that was the problem.  This season has proven that while it might have been Brian Schottenheimer, it was most assuredly about Mark Sanchez.

Still, I see Glauber’s point.  Maybe Sanchez does respond and his career is forever changed, but that seems so unlikely.  But if the Jets are already in a free fall, what’s there to lose?  The team is most likely going have to hold onto him next year so he’ll get another shot to compete for a job, but just not right now.

At least as long as Mike Tannenbaum doesn’t overrule Rex Ryan’s wish …