LaDainian Tomlinson says Mark Sanchez lacks confidence on field
LaDainian Tomlinson, who spent two years in New York (2010-2011) with Mark Sanchez, claims the New York Jets veteran quarterback lacks confidence in himself when on the field. The former New York Jets and San Diego Chargers running back said that Sanchez’s hesitation to throw the ball has been a major factor in his recent stunted production and struggles on the field.
“Mark has to start to trust himself,” said Tomlinson. “Mark does a great job in the film room but when he comes out on the field, he doesn’t trust what he sees out there in terms of coverages and the timing with his receivers.”
“If he starts to trust himself and not hesitate in throwing the football, then he possibly could turn his career around,” Tomlinson said of Sanchez, who threw for 6.4 yards per pass while being intercepted 18 times and sacked on 34 occasions last season. “I think it’ll be tough at this point because rarely does a zebra change his stripes.”
The 33-year-old Tomlinson also offered his opinion on the New York Jets’ quarterback situation, which got that more complex after the team selected West Virginia product Geno Smith in the second-round of the 2013 NFL draft. LaDainian Tomlinson said he doubts Smith will be ready to start by Week 1, unless things go badly for Sanchez in the preseason. So although Sanchez is being widely projected as the Jets incumbent starter, he too will have a narrow margin for error in order to keep his job this season.
“This is a West Coast offense, and really Mark Sanchez has that type of DNA in him because he played at USC in a West Coast offense,” said Tomlinson. “Early on, we probably will see Sanchez take the snaps at the starting spot.”
“But here’s the thing: in preseason, if Mark Sanchez doesn’t show the ability to improve from turning the football over and that race is close between the two, Geno Smith will be the starter.”
It doesn’t seem like LaDainian Tomlinson is trying to shoot down Mark Sanchez, but his words should be heeded as a warning by Sanchez and should provide the quarterback with motivation to turn around from last season’s dismal performance.