A lot of Jets fans want to see a new starting Quarterback under center when the 2013 season gets underway. Unfortunately Mike Tannenbaum believed it prudent to sign the struggling quarterback to a new deal in March 2012. The new deal opened up $6.4 million in cap space in 2012, however it turned his non guaranteed 2013 salary of $6 million into a guaranteed salary of $8.25 million. Which means - he is more than likely guaranteed to still be here on opening day.
Sanchez has had some ups and some downs, he did play well in the post-season in 2009 and 2010 - we will all give him that. However his performance in the regular season has been worrying, he is by all accounts one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. His accuracy can be terrible, his decision making is poor and his confidence is at an all time low. However one saving grace for Sanchez, he is likely going to get one more shot.
We thought that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was the problem, his pre-snap motion and verbiage were too complicated for a seasoned veteran, let alone a young quarterback. We then thought it was Tony Sparano and his inexperience developing a Quarterback, the reliance on the run game and concentration on the offensive line. Finally we believed it to be Matt Cavanaugh, the Quarterback coach who had never developed a quarterback in his life.
All of these 'excuses' warranted consideration. However now we have just hired Marty Mornhinweg, an offensive guru who has a long history of getting the best out of his quarterbacks. Under his watch, five different quarterbacks have reached the Pro Bowl (Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Steve Young and Jeff Garcia). He has been in charge for four of the top five scoring season in Eagles history, and the five best yardage outputs in franchise history. He guided Michael Vick to become only the 2nd Quarterback in NFL history to throw for 3000+ yards and 500+ rushing yards. He oversaw Donovan McNabb to franchise records in total yards thrown and completions in 2008. However it's not all about moving the ball in the air, the 2010 Eagles team became the first in NFL history to average 4.0 yards per carry in all 16 regular season games.
In 1998 while serving as the 49'ers offensive coordinator, the team became the first unit since the 1941 Bears to lead the league in gross passing and rushing yardage. In 1996 he worked with Brett Favre, the same season Favre became NFL MVP and Superbowl Champion. So as you can see, his track record really does speak for itself.
When you see Marty's west coast offense, you see the ability to exploit weaknesses in defenses. He has managed to get the best out of running backs LeSean McCoy and Brian Westbrook, and he has used these dynamic players by getting them out into space. When you look at what he did with McCoy and Westbrook you can't help wonder what he will have in store for Joe McKnight, a very dynamic player that has been painfully underused by the Jets.
I do fully expect us to draft heavily on the offensive side of the football, and so we should. However I think that if anyone can get the best out of Sanchez and the other offensive weapons we do have, it's Marty. I'm not saying I believe in Sanchez, I think he has been given more than enough chances. However as we look to be stuck with him for the 2013 season at least, he'll be given one more chance as default. Even if we do draft a Quarterback, I vision an open competition in the summer and Autumn.
We can't get away from the fact that the Jets had one of the worst offenses in the league in 2012, however how much of that was down to coaching and how much was down to personnel. We're about to find out, however don't be surprised if Sanchez does make improvements, and don't be surprised if all of a sudden McKnight turns into a 1000 yard guy, it wouldn't shock me.
I'll finish by saying, be excited Jets fans!