Sanchez has ruined the holiday and football seasons for Jets fans (feliz navi-DUD, Mark). Rex Ryan announced that he will start Greg McElroy this Sunday at home against San Diego. Fans can rejoice in the fact that they won't get to see Sanchez, however they can also question Rex's decision making.
Rex has been cryptic all season. He is vague in interviews and avoids questions. For the majority of the season, Tebow has been the number two while McElory has paced the sidelines in his street clothes aiding Coach Sparano in post-play analysis. By choosing Tebow to be the backup, Rex is sending a message that the team values Tebow more than McElroy. Now he decides to flip the cards and start McElroy, who was the savior in an ugly 7-6 win against the Cardinals.
McElroy earned the role... he did help the Jets win a game, that at the time, helped them keep the season alive. McElroy is young and this is his full audition to show his NFL worth. On the other hand what about Tebow? He is a genuinely a great guy, but deep down he has to feel slighted. He's human and has to be questioning Rex's decision. He grinds week in and week out in practice. Perhaps Rex wants no part of the Tebow circus. He looked less than pleased with the Tebow series in the Titans game. So much hype was followed by the Jets acquisition of Tebow. So far nothing has been gained from the move but jersey sales. Is he still "excited" to be a Jet?
Rex dodged many questions in an interview with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio. Kay asked Ryan if he felt that the Jets current state of affairs could be put on Sanchez. In true Rex fashion he completely defended Sanchez, stating that the blame is on the "guy who looks in the mirror" (himself). Rex has contributed to the terrible season, however not as much as Sanchez. Now Rex makes a choice that puzzles many with McElroy. It just seems too late. If McElroy was the answer he would have been activated after the Arizona win. Rex sounded foolish after Sanchez's five turnover game when he said he had no clue who the starter was gonna be. It seems like no one on the team is assertive, from coach to players. He should have at least stated that Sanchez was definitely going to sit immediately.
McElroy can capitalize on the chance. He openly criticized the Jets' locker room last year. He stated that it wasn't "a fun place to be". It must certainly be a horrible place to be now. McElroy can create a locker room presence if he asserts himself in the San Diego game. If he does everything to be the "anti-Sanchez" he'll gain locker room respect. It's not hard to fix Sanchez's mistakes....just try the basics like hold on to the ball, manage the game, control your team, and be smart. No need for gaudy numbers, just effective play, which McElroy is capable of.
Tebow is rumored to demand a trade due to the McElroy start. There have been numerous Tebow rumors, but this one seems to be true. A message has been sent by not starting Tebow.There's no financial tie to McElroy like Tebow. This can create a buzz. Perhaps McElroy plays at a high level which causes other teams to notice (Jacksonville, Arizona, etc.). The Jets can than make the choice to stick with him for the long run (which could be a risk) or shop him around (which could also be risky).
In the end it's an ugly situations for the fans and staff, but good for McElroy. Nobody wanted to the season get to a low like this. The Tennessee loss was the final knockout punch in the season long fight. These next two games are the short term recovery. I will be in attendance at Sunday's game and can only hope that McElroy can salvage any pride that is left. Hopefully he justifies Rex's decision.