Opinion: What You Want In A Quarterback
Ah, yes it seems like an annual ritual but there comes a point every season where the media and ultimately the fan base begins to question the abilities of one Mark Sanchez due to a few lackluster performances. Over the course of his three-plus-year NFL career has arguably been one of the most over-scrutinized and over-criticized quarterbacks in the entire league and it is all coming to a very ugly head right now, amidst the team’s struggles and the image of Tim Tebow looming in the background waiting for his number to be called.
I will not sit here and tell you that Sanchez has been great over his tenure as the Jets signal caller because he obviously has not, his stats are fairly lackluster and he still has a propensity to make some bone-headed decisions but my question to those out there who are calling for his head and starting “We Want Tebow” campaigns is: “What is it that you want in a quarterback.”
We all know that over the last decade or so the league has exhibited a macro change with the emergence of more and more pass-first offenses and gaudy statistics by quarterbacks but what is it that you really want in your quarterback, is it 30 touchdown passes and a 65% completion percentage or is it wins. The stats are nice but ultimately success in this league is determined by wins and losses, so sure Sanchez may never end up being Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers but let’s face it these guys don’t exactly grow on trees.
However, he does what matters most and that is win games, regardless of what you think of him as a passer and decision-maker, one way or another he finds a way to get the job done. In his three full seasons with the team, the Jets have not had a losing record and in only his first two seasons he became the second most successful quarterback to ever don the green and white. Turning the page on this guy because the severely talent-deprived offense has struggled against some of the league’s premier defenses without arguably their best offensive weapon in Dustin Keller is simply asinine.
I agree that when you draft a player fifth overall there is the expectation that he will become a premier starting quarterback but with that said don’t you also draft a quarterback to win football games? Not only has Sanchez won 60% of the games he has started, he has also orchestrated 12 game-wining drives in his career including two in road playoff wins against the Chargers and Colts. In my mind the QB formerly referred to as the “Sanchise” has exactly what you want in a quarterback: someone that wins games and shines brightest when the moments are the biggest.
All I can ask from my fellow Jets fans because God knows the media is going to do whatever it wants is to step back and take a deep breath and realize the unprecedented success that this still-growing, young quarterback has brought you over the past three years and cut him some slack. Four games does not a season make and so it is a situation that may still correct itself but in the interim, use this as a refresher of what number six is capable of.