Florham Park, NJ– The entire NFL world gathered around their electronic devices this morning to hear what Rex Ryan would have to say about who the Jets starting quarterback would be, but you didn’t actually think it would be that simple did you?
Of course many held out hope that a definitive change would be made and many more were expecting to hear Ryan say the team would stick with Sanchez as the starter, naturally the answer was right smack in the middle.
“Well, I think right now I definitely need a little more time to make that decision.” Ryan said, “I’m comfortable and confident with all three quarterbacks, I think all three guys, well now, have proven that they can win in this league, with Greg (McElroy) at the end of the game and obviously Mark’s (Sanchez) history here and the way Tim (Tebow) has played. So we got three guys that I’m confident in, but I’ll make that decision as the week goes on.”
In the NFL the saying goes, ‘if you have two quarterbacks you really have no quarterbacks,’ but what do they say about teams with three quarterbacks? (rhetorical question, don’t try and answer it.)
With Sanchez still locked into $8.5 million next year no one would have been surprised to see Ryan stick with Sanchez as the unquestioned starter, while Ryan left the door open for Sanchez to remain the starter, the unquestioned part is now over, probably forever. The longer Ryan waits to make a decision (he says he expects to have a decision for us by Wednesday) the less likely it becomes that the decision will be Sanchez. This is just a guess, but Ryan always seemed as if he’d be hesitant to bench Sanchez until he was ready to move on from Sanchez for good. By pulling Sanchez and seeing the energy level of the offense get ratcheted up significantly it’d be extremely hard to justify going back to Sanchez and the longer he waits the harder that justification would be.
“Right now I haven’t made that decision, but again obviously that (a change at QB) could be a thing I consider as the week goes on. But right now I’m not ready to say that. I want to make sure that I talk to Tony (Sparano), Matt (Cavanaugh), everybody and make sure I get a sense of what will be the right decision.” Ryan said, “I know nothing about Jacksonville, haven’t watched one film on Jacksonville as far as their defense is concerned so there’s a lot of things that go into every decision you make, even how are we going to play Kyle Wilson? Is Kyle Wilson going to play the corner or is he going to play the nickel? So those are the decisions you make based on the opponents specifics.”
Everyone has differing opinions on what will and should happen, but what we do know is that it will be one of three guys, either continue with Sanchez, start Tebow if healthy or see what McElroy can do. It’s not exactly a no lose situation.
Sanchez has never been a top level quarterback, but he continues to regress and now he appears shellshocked and scared to pull the trigger. Sanchez always used the pump fake extremely well when he would break it out, now it seems as if he is confusing himself as he pump fakes repeatedly with an open receiver and waits far to long to finally get rid of the ball. Something seems broken about Sanchez the quarterback and it’s unlikely whatever it is can be fixed here in New York.
McElroy doesn’t have a really strong arm (however arm strength is the most overrated ability in quarterbacks, touch and drive on passes are far more important) and isn’t going to light up secondaries around the league, but he will most likely avoid the devastating turnovers that have become commonplace with Sanchez and has cost the Jets multiple games over the years. Bring in a game manager like McElroy, limit turnovers, get great defensive play and continue to run the ball and all McElroy would need to do is make a couple plays a game for the Jets to be able to beat the remaining teams on their schedule.
And of course there’s always option Tebow.
“You can put him (Tebow) in there, you can put whoever in there. You know, Tim, we’ll have to monitor his situation as the week goes on. He was cleared to play, but it was my decision, I just never thought that he was where I think he should be, he might be able to play, but I don’t think he’s near 100 percent and I just wasn’t comfortable.” Ryan said, “Quite honestly I let Tim talk me into activating him the week before (against the Patriots), I think that was something I regretted and I wasn’t going to let him talk his way into it this time.”
With Tebow still recovering from the rib injury and Ryan not committing to Sanchez today, it would seem McElroy would be the heavy favorite to get the starting role on Sunday. But that’s just speculation. Ryan said he made the move because, “I just thought at the time, it was the right move. Sometimes you have better days than others, it’s just something I felt needed to be done and gave our team the best opportunity to win and that’s what it’s always about and that’s why I made the move.”
This season we have seen other coaches (Harbaugh in San Francisco and Andy Reid in Philly) wait until later in the week to name a starter, there’s no reason to expect anything different here and while Ryan might be leaning one way or another he says he doesn’t want to reveal his hand quite yet.
“I want it to be an open discussion and so I don’t want to say there’s a way that I’m definitely leaning.” Ryan said, “I want to make sure that everyone knows it’s an open discussion and I want honest feedback.”
Open discussion indeed, have it folks.
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