EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets celebrates with his teammates after running the ball in for a Touchdown against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Something that always bothers me is the discussion of whether or not our quarterback Mark Sanchez is the fearless leader that a franchise quarterback must be, or if he is no better than a sulking teenager
The no-win situation to which I am referring is Mark's "behavior" on the sideline and during games. Often times he is viewed by fans as "mopey." His disappointed ManningFace face has become something of lore as he goes to the sideline to regroup after throwing a particularly bad interception. He is often criticized for lacking fire and intensity. I've heard of him being criticized for stewing in mistakes and consequently becoming more and more sluggish - his five-interception game against the Buffalo Bills comes to mind.
And yet, there have been times when Sanchez has been as fiery as can be, active on the sideline after miscues and preparing the offense for one of their many now famous fourth-quarter comebacks. In the most recent game against the Buffalo Bills, Sanchez was seen yelling at a teammate on the sideline. I don't know exactly what play it was, but perhaps it was when Dustin Keller and Santonio Holmes collided on a pick route and the offense was prevented from achieving another first down. I've heard it was directed to the defense to fire them up and get them ready to go. Regardless, Sanchez was either holding his players accountable, or emotionally preparing the team.
Let's take the jump and piece this together.
I have seen criticism of Sanchez, both by fans and the media, for yelling at his teammates while he himself was making mistakes as well. So Sanchez is being criticized for not taking an active role in reforming the offense after a bad series, and yet he is criticized when he attempts to hold the players responsible for their mistakes. It truly is a no-win scenario for Sanchez. Damned if he does, damned if he does.
I don't know if there's a solution or a reason for this, other than this being the New York market, and everything he does is over-scrutinized. I do believe that Sanchez is a good leader, and the team's support of him after he was booed this past game demonstrates that. They didn't have to do that. Keller admitted that many of the miscues are not his fault, but theirs. What is a quarterback to do in that situation?
Personally, I think that as Sanchez grows and develops as a player and person, he'll be able to properly control his emotions to the degree necessary to become more consistent. Should he be mopey after an interception? No. But what are people expecting of him, a smile? Generally, I think his reaction is appropriate - as long as it's passing. You always see him celebrating with his receivers or running backs after a touchdown. I loved his passion on the sideline this past game as the clock ran down and he needed to step up. I want to see more of it, even if he is also making mistakes as well.
What do you all think of this situation? Am I blowing this out of proportion? What should we expect out of quarterback?