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Rex Ryan Says He Won't Bench Mark Sanchez to Save His Job

Ryan gives a full-throated endorsement to his starter.

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Otto Greule Jr

Rex Ryan is sticking with Mark Sanchez. He says won't bench the starter even to save his own skin.

"Mark’s our starting quarterback," Ryan said. "I believe in our offense. I know it hasn’t looked great, hasn’t put up the numbers I’d like. If you’re making positive steps, you have to believe. I’m confident in who I am in my abilities, I’m confident in the men who are with me, the coaches who coach with me and the players who play with me. I’m never going to waver."

Asked if he might lose that job over his stubbornness to remove Sanchez from his starting role, Ryan was adamant that it did not matter. "I’m not going to make a decision one way or the other to try to save my job. I’m trying to win games," he said. "At the end of the day I’m confident that I’ll be the coach because I think we’ll find a way to win."

Remember those words. What gets coaches fired more than anything else in the NFL isn't losing. It's when fans stop spending money. There are still seats available for Thanksgiving Night against the Patriots. The Jets are advertising tickets on television. That's not a good thing. And just because a ticket is sold does not mean it will be used. Right now, it seems likely a national audience tunes into this game and sees a ghost town of a stadium. It's no secret that Jets fans bail on going to games when the team falls out of the race, and that will likely go double for a holiday where people have better things to do than watch a bad football team.

No matter what you think about Tim Tebow, he draws interest. People will come out to see Tebow at least once. If Woody Johnson is looking at an embarrassment of people tuning in seeing many unsold tickets, even more no-shows, and a ton of money lost by a lack of sales of concessions and parking at the stadium, it seems very possible that Woody could order Tebow into the lineup. Would Rex stand his ground, or is just tough talk?

Getting past that, this is just another example of the lack of accountability on the team. Sanchez has to feel like he can't get benched at this point. In the Ryan Era, all you have to be is a nice guy, and you'll keep your job well after it is obvious you are very bad at it. It worked for Brian Schottenheimer, Wayne Hunter, and Eric Smith. It's working now for Sanchez and Vladimir Ducasse. This team refuses to just admit it was wrong about somebody.