Mark Sanchez’s Career Move
It’s not just the Packers’ quarterback problems since Aaron Rodgers got hurt that have shined the light on the sorry state of quarterbacking in the NFL. No one could have reasonably expected the trio of Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Flynn to make up for the absence of arguably the best quarterback in football. Rodgers’s importance has been increased exponentially by the Packers' four-week plummet without him. Now they’re in danger of missing the playoffs entirely because of the horrid stretch they’ve endured. It’s not an indictment on general manager Ted Thompson, coach Mike McCarthy or the Packers organization to say they should’ve gotten a better backup than Wallace. Rodgers has been so durable that there was no reason to believe that he’d miss a substantial amount of time. More notably, there aren’t any decent backups available. Many teams don’t have a starting quarterback they’re satisfied with, so how can anyone be expected to find a good backup?
How this affects Sanchez and his future is clear in that he has more opportunities. Sanchez is still under contract for the Jets and while it was considered fait accompli that he’d thrown his last pass for them when his shoulder blew out in preseason, now that’s not such a sure thing. Geno Smith was drafted to take over for Sanchez. The Jets wanted him to win the job and the consensus was that he was going to start unless he fell flat on his face in the preseason. Sanchez’s fate was unknown. Now, however, the Jets are still unsure as to whether Smith is the long-term answer. There’s talk that they may again be looking for still another quarterback in a draft deep with signal-calling talent. The ambiguity opens the door for Sanchez.
A telling question is this: If Sanchez were on the Jets’ active roster, would he have been inserted as Smith’s replacement at some point this season? The answer is an emphatic yes and it would’ve happened long ago. For all of the ridicule Sanchez has received, it can’t be said that he was as utterly inept as Smith has shown himself to be at times (buttfumble or not). Smith gets something of a break because he’s a rookie, but when compared with Sanchez’s rookie season, he loses that argument as Sanchez took the Jets to the AFC Championship Game and showed himself to be cool under late-game pressure.