Will Growth Occur for Sanchez?


By Zack Cimini


Heading to the big city of dreams with barely a year as a starting college quarterback seemed like a scenario for a third string quarterback in the NFL. That was not the case for Mark Sanchez. The USC standout withstood a training camp quarterback battle and came in having to replace a wacky drawn out Favre year from 2008. Starting off the year 3-0 had Jets fans in a Sanchez love at first sight start. Eating on a hot dog during game play was comical, but the debates would soon turn in an instant.

The Jets and particularly Sanchez started to slump and the losses started to reel off. They lost six of seven games and were suddenly 4-6 in the heavily competing AFC conference. Playoff chances were Jim Mora like…..playoffs….playoffs. That’s when the Jets decided to water down their offensive play selections and limit the mistakes Sanchez could make. The decision to flip their offense and tone it down drastically saved the Jets season. Sanchez still almost cost the Jets a few games but the organization didn’t lose their faith in Sanchez. They let him grow through his mistakes and that leeway for showing their strong commitment should start to payoff for the 2010 season.

New York likely will keep Sanchez geared down a bit still but they have so many weapons on the offensive side of the ball that it should open things up for Sanchez rather easily. Questions at wide receiver still loom but the talent is there. Both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes have had boom and bust years in the NFL. Edwards in particular has the most to prove. He has been prone to fading out and dropping balls since he has entered the league. Big play ability is why the Jets have him and he showed against the Colts that he can get the job done. Years of his mistakes should of added maturity to his façade that he was an all world receiver that’s indispensable.

For Santonio Holmes the Jets really don’t know what there going to get out of. The risk of a fifth round pick versus the reward was worth the weight of baggage they’re bringing in. Holmes has had a few great years in Pittsburgh and must have somewhat of a clue that he needs to change his actions off the field. The assets of Dustin Keller and Jerricho Cotchery make the Jets one of the best spread package offenses in the NFL. It doesn’t hurt that the Jets also have one of the best offensive lines in the game.

For fantasy value Sanchez still remains a poor option. An outlook for 2010 still will be geared towards the ball control style that got them turned around the second half of 2010. The Jets play around their defense and will win or lose games based upon how that unit maintains. Offensively the Jets are loaded in the backfield and will look to “please” their backs with plentiful amounts of carries. Shonn Greene and LT should be a lock to be at the top of the NFL in amount of carries from the top two running backs on any team.

Does Sanchez have any fantasy value? We would say in the rarest of games, yes. When the Jets gave him the freedom to air out the football though, that’s when he showed his inexperience as a pocket quarterback. You have to look at the relevant numbers, and when the Jets let him throw the football twenty times or more he had disastrous games. In fact he threw 19 of his 20 interceptions (7 contests) in those games. It’s safe to say the Jets might of not won 5 to 6 games let alone 9 if they had not changed their offensive philosophy.

The Jets are the team on HBO’s training camp series this summer so we will all get an early shot to see where Sanchez has developed in phases as a quarterback. Ranking him against the rest of the leagues quarterbacks from a fantasy perspective though, he would have to rank towards the bottom five to seven. Meaning don’t touch him in your fantasy drafts not even as a backup.


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