With the reality setting in that the Jets probably won’t even be a finalist for the services of Peyton Manning -at least as it looked on Thursday – the Jets are going to have to recalibrate their team’s and their city’s expectations. Manning might have been an immediate if short-lived upgrade for the Jets QB position, but as of now, it doesn’t seem like Manning isn’t that interested in New York.
If the Jets are going to have to make the best of the situation with Mark Sanchez, can they do it when they’ve just given Sanchez a vote of no confidence by calling Tom Condon?
Let’s face it, Mark Sanchez’s stature in the locker room took a hit at the end of the season, and there’s concern within the organization that his ability to repair it could be comprised by an ill-fated run at Manning. If the Jets don’t sign Manning — sources say they’re not one of the frontrunners — Sanchez will return to a locker room that may not look at him the same way.
Fair or not, he’d be perceived as The Fallback Guy.
Evidently, Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum are willing to take that risk, which tells us one of two things: They believe Sanchez is tough enough to handle the ramifications or they don’t give a damn because they’re desperate for Manning.
“If you’re going to flirt with a guy, you have to make sure you get him — or it could backfire on you,” one source said.
The Jets have always been forthright about the fact that they will make inquiries into basically any player. It’s how they landed Santonio Holmes in the first place, it’s how they got Plaxico, it’s how they got Favre … it’s not like this is some sea-change in guiding philosophy for the Jets. The team might not like it, but that’s been the M.O. since 2006.
Sanchez might want the locktight guarantee of being the team’s QB, but wasn’t it just months ago that Tannenbaum and Rex were being panned for coddling and babying their QB?
Per Damien Woody being quoted in the Bergen Record
“I wouldn’t call him lazy, but I do think there are certain things about Mark and the organization that need to change. I think the organization does baby him, and they definitely need to bring in a viable backup … to really provide that competition. With competition, either you’re gonna rise, or you’re gonna just crumble.
“You bring in a viable backup and just let it play out, and we’ll see which Mark Sanchez shows up after that.”
The fleeting pursuit of Manning is basically the full measure response of what the team’s detractors (internal and external) have called the front office to task on … creating too safe an environment for Sanchez. Now he knows he’s replaceable … better that he’s replaced by Peyton Manning than Chad Henne … right?
No argument, it’s been a rough week for Mark Sanchez, as he’s been beset on all sides by people inside and outside the organization who are ready to move on from him in favor of Peyton Manning.
According to Metro’s Kristian Dyer, when asked about the situation, Joe Namath came to the Jets Quarterback’s defense, saying that he deserves better from his teammates:
Namath has grown tired of hearing Sanchez’s teammates bash him anonymously in the papers.
“Sanchez is a grown man now; he’s not a boy. He’s played his first few years and I know myself, I’d be tired of being called ‘kid’ or ‘rookie’ or whatever,” Namath said.
“Hell, he deserved more respect then he got last year. Let me rephrase that — he deserved more respect from his teammates than he got. There was some bad vibes between him and his receivers, but Mark handled it like a true soldier. You could see though that he was emotionally hurt, but he deserves better than all that.”
Sanchez does deserve better from his teammates, but he knows how the front office operates … it’s how he was gifted Santonio and Braylon specifically. He also has to know the reality of the situation that he’s not won over the whole team, and maybe he needs to learn that he can’t expect to be all things to all people. He needs to lead, make decisions, and if Santonio calls him to task again, he’ll need to put that down immediately and not let it fester like it obviously did. Alpha males have to fight to retain their dominance, not carry teammates pads and get the a drink of water.
Sanchez is learning what it really means to be a leader of men, in some cases, ten years his elder. This isn’t college anymore where infectious enthusiasm rules the day. He’s been in the pros long enough to know that … if he stays with the Jets, he’s going to have to be more iron-handed in his leadership …
Kind of like Peyton Manning is.