Browsing Posts tagged Mark Sanchez

Time after time, Rex Ryan declared his quarterback competition was an ‘open competition’. Ryan’s proclamation closely followed the mantra brought in by new general manager, John Idzik. However, NFL competition is rarely ‘open’ and teams often have preconceived favorites. During 2009, Rex Ryan anointed rookie Mark Sanchez the starter after just six pre-season completions. The tables have turned on Sanchez and the Jets are trying to substantiate  their belief that Geno Smith should be their starting quarterback. Geno Smith was terrible against the Giants in Week 3 of the pre-season, throwing three interceptions and causing one brutal safety. The Jets were hoping that Smith would play well so they could finally push Sanchez to the side, but it didn’t happen. Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury against the Giants, so Ryan has placed his chips behind Smith. Smith must play well against Tampa Bay in order to bolster Ryan’s credibility after his terrible Week 3 performance. 

No one expects Smith to set the league on fire during his rookie season, but Jet fans are expecting competitive effort. Sportsbooks do not respect the Jets, pegging their season win total at 6.5. The Jets aren’t receiving much respect in Week 1, either. According to NFL lines at Sportsbook Tampa Bay has been installed a three-point road favorite at the Meadowlands. Smith’s Week 3 performance indicated that he is not ready to lead an NFL offense. Darrelle Revis and Co. will attempt to force Smith into bad throws.

Still, Jet fans may wonder if Smith would be starting if Sanchez was still healthy. According to Jet sources, if healthy, Sanchez would have started Week 1, purely based on Smith’s dreadful performance. Jet fans must wonder why Ryan put Sanchez in harms way during a meaningless fourth quarter. Regardless of Rex’s reasoning, the Jets ultimately have ‘their guy’ starting in Week 1. The biggest question of all remains–Are the Jets purely motivated by their desire to get rid of Sanchez or do they truly believe Smith can lead them to victory? 

Regardless of the answer, the Jets have once again mismanaged the quarterback position and it seems like they fail to properly ‘rebuild’. It’ll likely be another long season for Gang Green, regardless of who lines up at quarterback. 

It’s been a tumultous season for Rex Ryan’s Jets. After flirting with Peyton Manning, the Jets signed Mark Sanchez to a three-year, $40.5 million contract extension. Sanchez had two years remaining of his rookie contract, so the move was surprising. However, the Jets made the most puzzling move in franchise history a few months later. The Jets sent a fourth round pick to Denver for Tim Tebow. The looming presence of Tebowmania was evident as Sanchez’s clearly looked uncomfortable in the pocket. The offense’s production went from ‘bad’ to ‘worse’ as Wildcat guru, Tony Sparano was signed as offensive coordinator. Ryan was hellbent on getting back to a ‘Ground & Pound’ offense that he overlooked the offense’s biggest problem–Sanchez’s inconsistencies as a passer. Sparano’s offense is predicated by a hard-nosed ground game and accurate throws down field–two facets the Jets simply don’t have. Sanchez was booed to the bench and Tim Tebow Greg McElroy took over. McElroy isn’t the long-term answer, but the thought of McElroy starting seems like blasphemy.

While the offense’s on-field play was a downright disgrace, injuries clearly affected production. Santonio Holmes suffered a season ending foot injury and Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller couldn’t seem to stay healthy. Practice squad fodder (e.g. Chaz Schillens, Mardy Gilyard) became Sanchez’s go-to receivers. One could argue that Sanchez played so poorly that it didn’t matter who was on the field. Still, every team must overcome injuries and the Jets didn’t do it.

The defense has always been the Jets’ strength, so this year’s statistics were downright pitiful. The Jets have the NFL’s sixth worst run defense, yielding 135.3 yards per game. Of note, the 49ers gashed the Jets for over 250 yards, which Ryan coined as his worst performance ever. Bart Scott looked old and simply couldn’t defend tight ends. The Jets lost Darrelle Revis early in the season, but the pass defense did not miss a beat. Newcomers, Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry secured the safety positions and Antonio Cromartie played at a Pro Bowl level. The Jets were the NFL’s second best pass defense, yielding just 187 yards per game. Kyle Wilson started in place of Revis and was always picked on by opposing quarterbacks.

Special team’s coordinator, Mike Westhoff, will retire at season’s end. Known as the ‘Creator of Special Teams’, Westhoff experienced many highs (and lows). The Jets scored (and gave up) two special teams touchdowns, but suffered numerous gaffes. Tebow was placed on the punt team and made his share of mistakes.

Overall, it was a terrible season for the Jets. Ryan’s pre-season assertions about his team’s talent level were downright comical. Still, Cromartie made the Pro Bowl and Muhammad Wilkerson is beginning to play like an All-Pro. If Revis fully recovers from his ACL injury and Bell and Landry re-sign, the Jets will have the league’s best secondary. The Jets are encouraged by the play of Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, so the defense can return to its dominant ways if adds a few pieces.

On offense, the Jets need a new offensive coordinator. The Jets are stuck with Mark Sanchez, so they need a coordinator that can help develop him as a passer. Norv Turner and Charlie Weis have track records of fixing quarterbacks, so they may be options. Ryan does not know anything about offense, so he needs a strong coordinator that can fully take over. Dustin Keller will be a free agent, so the Jets need to make a decision. Still, the Jets will hope the injury gods shine more favorably upon them next season.

The Jets should give Rex Ryan one more season. The Jets will likely have a Top 12 draft pick and the return of some key pieces will help. In addition, the Jets will play a 3rd-or-4th place schedule next season, which should pad their win total. Ryan’s defense can regain its dominance, but the offense desperately needs a strong coordinator. Tebow, Sparano, and Mike Tannenbaum should not be brought back, but Ryan should be given one more chance.

It’s been a helluva pre-season for the New York Jets, marked mainly by the Sanchez-Tebow situation  and the worrisome lack of offense.

How much of that will carry over into the regular season? We’ll find out, in part, this Sunday when the Jets host their friends from upstate, the Buffalo Bills, in the NFL 2012 regular-season opener for both teams (1 pm Eastern, CBS).

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QB: Eli Manning Passing: 7-14-62-0 TD / 1 INT-  Sans Hakeem Nicks, the Giants came out with their first team offense and participated in three drives. During his first drive, Manning orchestrated a 12-play drive, which included a critical special teams penalty on Joe McKnight that kept the drive alive. Following three straight completions to Victor Cruz, which were mitigated by penalties, and one short dump off to Martellus Bennett, Lawrence Tynes booted a 35-yard field goal to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. In his second drive, Manning barely missed on a touchdown strike to Victor Cruz on a third-and-one from the 16 yard line. Some will argue that corner back Kyle Wilson held Cruz, but the referee did not throw the flag. The Giants converted the fourth-and-one as Manning found Domenik Hixon, who was closely covered by Darrelle Revis, for a short four-yard strike to pick up the first down. Once again, the Giants failed to score a red zone touchdown and settled for a 30-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal to gain a 6-0 advantage. On his final drive, Manning threw an errant pass that was intercepted by safety, LaRon Landry. Despite orchestrating two lengthy drives, the interception capped a frustrating night for Manning.

RB: Ahmad Bradshaw Rushing: 3-2-0 After taking his third carry, Bradshaw left the game and went to the locker room with an apparent hand injury. X-Rays came back negative, however a cyst on his hand was broken open. Bradshaw is not expected to miss any time, but Giant fans are beginning to wonder if Bradshaw is made of glass. Bradshaw has played through chronic foot issues before, but can he effectively carry the football and take hits with a hand injury? We will see.

RB: Danny Ware Rushing: 11-15-0; Receiving 0-0 (1 Target) Ware came in for the injured Bradshaw, but didn’t find much running room. Ware broke off one nice run of seven yards, but was quickly corralled by the Jet defense. With Wilson still learning the Giant offense and Bradshaw removing himself from the game, Ware simply served a stop-gap option.

RB: David Wilson Rushing: 8-26-0 Alike Ware, Wilson did not find much running room against the stout Jet defense. Wilson was able to slash his way for two first downs, but he looked timid at times as he broke the line of scrimmage. In addition, Wilson looked a bit dumbfounded in pass blocking situations. If Wilson wants to become a substantial part of the Giant offense, he must improve his pass blocking. Wilson was utilized as the team’s kick-off return man, however, he did not have an opportunity to return a kick.

WR: Victor Cruz Receiving: 5-51-0 (8 targets) With Nicks sidelined, Cruz was the team’s top passing option, garnering eight of fourteen possible targets from Manning.  The Jet secondary took turns covering the Paterson, NJ product, and Cruz made the most of his non-Revis match-ups. As noted above, Cruz hauled in three straight passes from Manning and had a touchdown catch unjustly ripped away by Wilson. It was an impressive performance by Cruz and Nicks’ imminent return will only enhance the Giants’ passing attack.

WR: Rueben Randle Receiving: 1-49 (2 targets) Even though Randle took the field with David Carr and the second team offense, he made his presence felt. Carr and Randle hooked up for a 49-yard strike down the left sideline. Randle chose to wear #82 and his big play reminded many of another #82 (Mario Manningham) who stepped up for the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

TE: Martellus Bennett Receiving: 1-7 (1 target) Manning found Bennett for seven yards on a third-and-ten from the Jet 24 yard-line, setting up Tynes’ first field goal of the evening.

Others: In the fourth quarter, running back, Joe Martinek hauled in a swing pass from third-string quarterback, Ryan Perrilloux and scampered 14 yards for a touchdown. Martinek’s score was the only offensive touchdown of the game. 

Kicker Lawrence Tynes successfully booted four field goal attempts.

QB: Mark Sanchez Passing: 9-11-59 0 TD / 1 INT- Despite completing nine of his eleven passes, Sanchez was sacked three times, failed to convert any of his six third down opportunities, and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Sanchez did not have Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, or Chaz Schillens, but frankly, it didn’t really matter. The play by the Jet offensive line, namely Wayne Hunter, was down right embarrassing. Hunter gave way to two ugly sacks and had a third waved off due to a defensive penalty. Sanchez was constantly under duress and the sloppy offensive line play is to blame. Through two pre-season games, Sanchez’s offense has yet to register a touchdown.

QB: Tim Tebow– Passing: 5-14-69 0 TD /0 INT; Rushing: 2-5-0 Alike Sanchez, Tebow was constantly under duress. Tebow’s most memorable play happened in the fourth quarter when Giants’ safety, Will Hill rushed in unblocked and sacked him. Somehow, Tebow was able to get up, but this hit was a microcosm of how poor the Jets’ blocking adjustments were. In addition, Tebow under threw a wide-open Stephen Hill in the end zone on a second-and-ten from the Giants 25-yard-line. That drive resulted in a Josh Brown field goal, the Jets’ only points of the game. While Tebow’s 5-for-14 effort appears terrible, five of his nine incompletions were drops by receivers. In addition, Tebow threw two balls out of bounds rather than forcing the ball into tight coverage.

Overall, it was a very poor showing from the Jet quarterbacks. Despite some poor decisions, the quarterback duo absorbed seven sacks. If the Jets don’t solve their offensive line woes, it won’t matter which quarterback is under center.

RB: Shonn Greene– Rushing: 11-36-0; Receiving: 2-9-0 (2 targets) When the offense isn’t scoring, it’s difficult to find bright spots. However, Greene ran with some authority, registering five plays of five yards or more. While these plays alone aren’t going to win games, Greene’s tenacity cannot be overlooked. As pure runner, Greene is not dynamic, but given the Jets desire to run a ‘vanilla offense’, Greene can gain three-to-four yards per carry.

WR: Jordan White– Receiving: 3-28-0 (4 targets) White started in place of the injured Santonio Holmes and instantly became Sanchez’s favorite target. White hauled in three of his four targets, which included an impressive catch over safety, Antrell Rolle. Prior to the game, White was dealing with some swelling in his knee, so his condition is worth monitoring. Should Holmes not be ready for Week 1, White will start in his place.

WR: Stephen Hill– Receiving: 2-21-0 (3 targets) Hill started the game with Tebow and the Jets’ second team offense. On the first passing play, Tebow threw a pinpoint pass to Hill along the right sideline. A few plays later, Hill was wide open in the end zone, but Tebow underthrew him.

Last season with the Broncos, Tebow had a propensity for locking onto his larger receivers. Hill resembles Tebow’s favorite Denver target, Demaryius Thomas, and the two could form a nice repertoire.

TE: Dustin Keller– Receiving: 2-9-0 (2 targets) Keller was able to make two nice grabs over the middle of the field, but was not heavily featured. With Holmes out with an injury, many assumed Keller would be featured. Look for him to be more involved this week against the Carolina Panthers.

Others: Running back, Bilal Powell played with the second team offense. Powell demonstrated patience and explosion behind a leaky Jet offensive line. Powell ran six times for 21 yards. Powell’s running back counterpart, Joe McKnight, only mustered three yards on three carries.

Through two preseason games, the New York Jets have failed to score an offensive touchdown. While most will argue that the preseason is meaningless, the Jets’ futile offensive showing is troublesome. During last night’s 26-3 loss to the Giants, the Jets gave up seven total sacks and looked like the league’s worst offense. The Jets’ first team offense went 0-for-6 on third downs, allowed three sacks, and were stymied twice on third-and-one and fourth-and-one. While Mark Sanchez completed 9-of-11 pass attempts, one of his errant passes was intercepted by Giants’ rookie, Jayron Hosley and returned for a touchdown.

After Sanchez’s lackluster performance, some Jet fans began to clamor for Tim Tebow. However, Tebow wasn’t much better, completing just 5-of-14 pass attempts and short hopping a wide open Stephen Hill in the end zone. 

After the first team offense was taken out, Shonn Greene was visually upset on the sidelines. Greene stated that he was ‘very concerned’ that the offense hasn’t scored yet. While Rex and Sanchez claim they ‘aren’t too worried yet’, the Carolina Panthers are coming to town next weekend. The third pre-season game is the ‘dress rehearsal’ game where the starters see extended action. While the Panthers present some challenges on both sides of the ball, New York’s Week 1 match-up against the Bills is only three weeks away. The Jets better find their way into the end zone or it’ll be an extremely long, frustrating season. 

Yesterday, I profiled running back, Shonn Greene. Today, it’s time to turn our attention to the outside and evaluate the Jets’ top receiving option, Santonio Holmes. Last season, the Jets rewarded Holmes with a five-year, $45 million contract that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. However, instead of receiving premium production, the Jets got ‘Bad Santonio’.

Bad Santonio hauled in career lows in receptions (51) and receiving yards (654). Holmes’ eight touchdowns were his lone bright spot as he constantly bickered with Mark Sanchez. During the off-season, Holmes and Sanchez worked on their relationship. The Jets can only hope things turn around in 2012. With a full off-season of practice with Mark Sanchez, will Santonio revert back into a reliable fantasy starter?

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So far, we’ve looked at the Giants team dynamic. Today, we’ll shift our focus to little brother and their dynamic on offense. Without further delay, here is your 2012 New York Jets team report for offense.

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The New York Jets starting quarterback thought that he finally got the respect from the club that he was looking for when he signed a long term contract. Instead, the Jets make a trade for Tim Tebow that leaves fans wondering “why”? How could this affect the Jets 2012 NFL odds?

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Last night, I shared my thoughts on the Tebow-to-Jets scenario. Initially, I scoffed at the idea, but then I remember that Woody Johnson owns the Jets. Johnson has never shied away from making an impact and cannot stand when his team is not in the limelight. Well today, Johnson and his cronies brought Tim Tebow to New York in exchange for a fourth round pick.

From a business standpoint, trading for Tebow makes a lot of sense. The Jets need to sell some tickets and the initial Rex generated buzz fizzled out last season. Bringing in Tebow creates a buzzing atomsphere for Little Brother.

From a football standpoint, this move just solidifies how much a joke that Jets are. In the last three weeks alone, the Jets have flirted with three different quarterbacks. First, Peyton Manning told them to take a hike. Then Sanchez cashed in big time. After finding out Tebow was available, the Jets wasted little time grabbing Tebow from Denver.

Tebow isn’t any player. Tebow is a phenomenom. He has a following. In Denver, it was clear that John Elway didn’t believe. The only way to stop an uprising was to replace Tebow with an immortal player. Now, the Jets have created their own circus by bringing in Tebow. After every incompletion or interception thrown by Sanchez, the Tebow-believers will be screaming for #15. Great way to build more confidence in Sanchez.

The Jets are clearly a laughing stock. They envy that the Giants are the toast of the town and have resorted to bringing in Tebowmania to level the playing field. In essence, Tebow will create buzz, but from a football standpoint, this move doesn’t make the Jets a better team. What a joke.

Sources say that the Jets have intensified their efforts to land quarterback, Tim Tebow. Sources say that bringing in the mild-mannered Tebow will alleviate some negative emotions associated with the Jets. In addition, Tebow’s play making ability and intangibles make him an intriguing option. Add in new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s love of the Wildcat offense and Tebow seems like a no-brainer.

However, the Jets just doled out major bucks to their ‘franchise’ quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Sanchez claims he wasn’t affected by his team’s pursuit of Peyton Manning, but we all know that Marky Mark is a sensitive player. Bringing Tebow-Mania to New York would not only create hysteria, but put immense pressure on the fragile Sanchez. The Jet locker room needs to unite under its franchise quarterback, not endure the phenomenon that is known as Tim Tebow. 

Some Jet players have been very candid, stating that they don’t want Tebow. Antonio Cromartie, who is never at a loss for words, stated that the Jets can use Jeremy Kerley or Joe McKnight to run the Wildcat. And for once, Cromartie is right. The distractions, whether good or bad, that surround Tebow are not appropriate for this Jet team. If anything, the team may be going public with their interest in hopes of rallying the players to support Sanchez.

While the Giants have stolen all of the headlines, owner Woody Johnson has never been one to back down. Johnson brought in the Brett Favre in 2008 and has a history of making drastic moves following disappointing seasons. The Broncos will want at least third round pick for their unorthodox quarterback and that’s a steep price that the Jets shouldn’t pay.