Something that has been playing on my mind since we picked up Holmes was re-ignited by one particular play on Monday night. Now this is not a matter of fact statement, and I'm not even sure if I believe it myself, but it's an open question to you all. Does Mark Sanchez have too many options in the receiving game?
I know some of you are now saying "how can you have too many dangerous targets?". Well Monday night at one particular point (that I noticed, there may have been others), it seemed like Sanchez, knowing he had these vertical threats, felt obliged to go deep instead of taking the intelligent gain and picking up a first down. This at a time where we needed to put a drive together.
The result of that 2nd down play was an in-completion and another 3rd down which in turn led to another drive stalling before it even started. The pass in question looked like a simple go route for Holmes down the left sideline. The space vacated by Holmes was occupied by LT out of the backfield, who found himself in at least 10-15 yards of space. Had Sanchez have flipped the ball to LT, it was a certain first down and probably a lot more. Sanchez seemed to move through his progressions, look towards LT but then fire long anyway.
This is one isolated play that I just remembered, so perhaps it was a pre-designed play and they were taking their shot no matter what. However it did get me thinking about something we did talk about this off-season. Can you have too many options for a young quarterback like Mark Sanchez, can he feel pressured to attempt these star plays to appease his receivers.
Does he feel obliged to get all his receivers into the game, meaning that he can not get in a rhythm with one or two of his guys. The Keller/Sanchez relationship seems to rely on him finding him and getting him the ball early and often to get things going. He has two legitimate number 1's in Holmes and Edwards and Cotchery is our most reliable receiver.
On paper this all looks great, how are people going to cover us with so many weapons? but for a quarterback that is as raw as Sanchez, and lets be honest he's still extremely raw. Do too many options spoil the drive? Will we soon see all receivers making plays all over the field and us finding the end zone 4-5 times a game or will we see more plays like the one I mentioned about with Sanchez ignoring the play to keep the drive alive in favour of going for the slam dunk.
I'll be completely honest and say I have no idea, I'm hoping that we can satisfy these big play guys while playing intelligent football, but there is still a little nagging concern. I will say regardless, it's a great feeling to know we have the receivers we have.