In my time covering and playing football, there has always been an appreciation I’ve had for the quarterback position and those who excel at it. As the most important position on any football team, a quarterback always assumes the roll of leader, player-coach, and unfortunately at times, scapegoat. A winning quarterback is given free reigns by fans. He is respected, feared, and put on a pedestal that few have been able to attain.
It has always been my view that every successful quarterback possesses three distinct qualities…"The Three C’s." Those qualities are (in no particular order) Confidence, Composure and Consistency. These qualities are the make up of every winning quarterback. They are qualities that anyone can clearly see in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Jets fans have questioned whether Mark Sanchez will ever develop these qualities. Can Sanchez take control of this team with the Confidence of a leader? Can he play with a Consistency that puts the Jets in a position to win every week? Can Sanchez possess the Composure to take his highs with modesty and his lows with perseverance? Does Mark Sanchez have the make of a Winning Quarterback?
Confidence: In my opinion this is the most important characteristic of a quarterback. Without confidence none of the other qualities can be accomplished. When great quarterbacks step up under center they have a confidence about themselves, a demeanor that resonates in the teammates around them. As fans, that confidence gives us a small sense of security, we assume the best because we know the quality is there, we have seen it. We need to see this confidence in Mark Sanchez. His teammates need to see it. Sanchez must come out of his sheltered comfort and be confident in himself as a football player and as a Man. He must earn the respect of Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum, let them know they cannot trade for another quarterback without consulting him! Time to step up Mark Sanchez, this season and your tenure with the Jets depends on it.
Composure: Composure is defined as: The state or feeling of being calm and in control of oneself. A quarterback must always be in control of his emotions. He can never get too high on his accomplishments or too low on himself for mistakes. Football is a game of inevitable mistakes; the great quarterbacks have the composure to take mistakes with wisdom and carry on to the next play confidently and without remorse. Cam Newton is criticized for the praise he indulges himself with when he makes a great play; Jay Cutler is criticized for allowing his game to spiral out of control when he makes mistakes. Sanchez must learn to have a short memory when he makes mistakes and also when things are going well. He must approach each snap composed and ready to throw a touchdown pass no matter what the outcome of the previous possession was.
Consistency: In sports, not just football, the great talents are transformed into icons when they are capable of performing consistently at a high level. The quarterbacks that have been successful, for the most part, have been consistent throughout their careers. They show up day in and day out and produce because they understand it is expected of them. No one is perfect; a bad game for any and every quarterback is a certainty. Putting those poor performances behind oneself and continuing to produce consistently insures the opportunity to win every week. A consistent quarterback has the ability to carry his team to victory. He has the backing of his team because they know he will come out and play at a high level. The Jets need to start seeing consistency in Mark Sanchez if they are ever going to believe in him and back him as their franchise quarterback. The locker-room has to believe that he will play at a high level every game, no matter who the opponent is, no matter the hardships.