Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Empire Reports: Jets Locker Room Backing Sanchez


Every Jets fan, err, every NFL fan around the league knows first-hand how much a disaster of a year head coach Rex Ryan and the Jets posted last season.  Starting with the circus surrounding Tebowmania, followed by the handling of All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, to the sheer ineptitude of a team who seemingly found a way embarrass themselves week in and week out….the one player at the forefront of the TMZ-like stories was always the embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez, who was derided by New York fans and routinely found himself in the media doghouse all year, continuously failed to deliver on the five-year, $58.25 million extension ex-GM Mike Tannenbaum inked him to before the start of the season.  While still coming into last year with high hopes of putting the team on his back and carrying the Jets past to the AFC title game he managed to take them to his first two seasons in uniform, it appeared as is Sanchez regressed both personally and professionally while routinely faltering in the New York spotlight and punching his ticket on a one-way flight out of New York.

However, with over $8 million guaranteed for 2013, no thanks in part to the genius work of Tannenbaum and even with the drafting of West Virginia’s Geno Smith, it appears as if news coming out of the Jets locker room this morning has them backing Sanchez as the week-1 starter.

In an interview with The New York Posts, Bart Hubbuch, the Jets center and anchor on the offensive line Nick Mangold had this to say, “I think Mark is a fantastic quarterback for us, and I think he can do some good things.  He showed some good flashes in the spring, getting Mornhinweg’s system down and commanding the offense the way that he should be. We’ll see how training camp plays out, but either way, the competition will make him a better player.”

Asked if the rest of the locker room felt the same way, Mangold continued on “I believe so, I haven’t walked around with a pen and paper and taken a poll, but from the feeling I get, the locker room wants to win. Whoever gives us the best chance to do that, we want out there — and at this point, Mark gives us that best chance.”  When broached about the likelihood of Geno Smith emerging as a starter, Mangold told The Post that “Mark had a little bit better idea of the ideas and of seeing things, which are things Geno is going to have to work his butt off on.”
Bottom line is, Sanchez and the rest of the league know this is his last chance to resurrect his career here in New York after the let down of the past two seasons.  How long or how short the leash is with Sanchez ultimately depends on his performance under center the beginning part of this year.  With his guaranteed contract and backups Geno Smith and Greg McElroy failing to show any signs of brilliance throughout OTA’s, any performance greater than this should be considered a measurement of success.

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Tags: Darrelle Revis FanSided Geno Smith Greg McElroy Mark Sanchez Mike Tannenbaum New York Jets Nick Mangold Rex Ryan Si.com Sports Illustrated Tim Tebow

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