I've seen plenty of people on this blog who hate this guy and want him gone. However, i've also seen some people who don't think his lack of development since last season is his fault. Some people blame Schotty, others blame Rex, whoever. I haven't yet seen anyone make an entire post defending him however (a post about how much Schotty sucks doesn't count), so i've decided to be bold and make one myself.
Let's start with what he looked like in college. He played for a USC team that was really stacked. I think they had like 12 guys drafted that year and several more drafted next year. He had a lot of talent around him to help him out, so i wouldn't imagine anything was overly difficult for him. What we saw was a quarterback with good mobility, the ability to roll out, and a really nice deep ball. I don't know if anybody remembers how far he threw that thing. Watch this video to refresh your memory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_rib5nD5P0 . What we see here is a quarterback that doesn't look like he's thinking at all, he's having fun, using his instincts, and playing football. So, given how good that USC team was, and the fact that he only started one year, what you have coming into the draft is a VERY raw product that needs a lot of coaching up and work to do to make the transition to the NFL.
We all know how bad he was his rookie year, i don't think i really need to go into that. I do remember watching a video of him being interviewed by boomer esiason regarding some of the struggles his rookie year where Mark Mentioned that between his year at SC and his first three games which he won, he just got so used to winning that he didn't know how to handle losing. So what i'm thinking is that throughout all of those games (including the first 3 in the NFL) he wasn't thinking at all, just playing, winning, and having fun doing so.
His second year, despite having some rather low stats, he showed some flashes of brilliance and what he's capable of being, such as the week 2 game against the patriots where he picked apart their defense and threw 3 touchdowns. He also led several 4th quarter comebacks, i can't recall off the top of my head how many. Either way, critics claimed that the Jets were winning games in spite of his general mediocrity, which i suppose you could argue at the time.
Now, there's this year. Let me first bring up the fact that there was a lockout and the players didn't have any time to spend with coaches. I remember i was watching the thursday night game between the Bucs and Cowboys, and Brad Nessler mentioned that the reason Josh Freeman made such a big leap in between his first 2 seasons was because he was always at the facility watching film, and working with his coaches and teammates. He didn't have that this year, which was a big part of his dip in production. Guess what? Mark Sanchez didn't have this either. Mark Sanchez also had a completely different group of receivers and was initially put in an offense where he was meant to carry the load and throw the ball 40+ times a game. That didn't work out too well. Some may use this as evidence as to why he sucks, but guess what? Very few quarterbacks are capable of carrying their team like that. Even Matt Ryan doesn't play well when he doesn't hand the ball off to Michael Turner at least 20 times a game. Now, I know that some of you are gonna bring up Matt Stafford, but Matt Stafford had several years of starting experience in college, and also showed brief flashes of how good he was in what little time he played his second season (he threw 4 touchdowns against the redskins). Point there is that Matt Stafford is just really good, he was the 1st overall pick for a reason. Anyway, I won't deny that Mark Sanchez hasn't played great this season and definitely has his fair share of problems, be it hanging onto the ball too long, fumbling, throwing stupid picks, missing open receivers, and not hitting them in stride, but he's also done good things. For example, he's already tied the Jets' single season record for total touchdowns (30) and his improvement is a big reason why the Jets are so much better in the red zone this year. Also, he's made some really good throws that make your eyes pop out.
Some of you are certainly saying "well this his 3rd year, he should be better than this". You wanna know who else was supposed to be better than he was at the time, and was also considered to just be another draft bust? Eli Manning. Eli Manning is another New York quarterback who was pretty bad his first few seasons. In fact, i'm pretty sure he was worse than Mark Sanchez. There was a game where he had a passer rating of zero, ZERO! It wasn't until Eli's fifth season that he had a passer rating above 80, and unlike Sanchez, he started at Ole Miss for almost all 4 years. Everyone was calling for Eli's head, but Tom Coughlin decided to get him a new OC, and now, several years later, Eli's playing pretty darn well. I don't see any Giants fans complaining now.
Let's wrap this up, from what i'm seeing in Mark Sanchez during games, he thinks way too much and doesn't use his instincts. Ever wonder why he's been so good in the 2 minute drill? Because he doesn't think, he just plays. We don't know whether or not Schotty is gonna be back this season, but either way, Mark isn't worth giving up on just yet. As i've said before, Mark has had his fair share of problems, i'm not denying that by any means. He just needs to find his groove in the NFL. The giants gave Eli about 7 years, why not give Mark some more time?
Feel free to critique.
Edit: I've also noticed lots of people saying that Mcelroy's a lot better and that he showed way more poise and composure during the preseason and that he's better than Mark. Wrap this around your head, a lot of the stuff that happens in the preseason usually doesn't translate into the regular season. Remember when the 2008 lions went undefeated in the preseason and then didn't win a single game? Remember how bad Andy Dalton and Cam Newton were and how good they are now? We can have a QB controversy once Sanchez gets hurt and Mcelroy has to step in for a spell. Don't get me wrong though, I do like Mcelroy.
Another edit: Sanchez is one of only 5( i think) quarterbacks to win 30 games in their first 3 years. There's something distinct about winning games, no matter how much help you have. Now, you may say "well he had a great defense and run game". So does Blaine Gabbert, I don't see him winning games. And wouldn't it just be a little odd to let go of the Jets quarterback with more playoff starts and wins than any other?