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Rex Ryan: I never thought Mark Sanchez would be a franchise quarterback

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Former Jets head coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan spoke with Rich Cimini about Jets quarterbacks of the past and present. He made a rather curious claim about the first starting quarterback of his Jets tenure.

"With Sanchez, I knew he wasn't going to be a franchise quarterback, but I thought he'd be good enough to win with," Ryan said. "The guys coming out in this year's class have a much higher rating than Mark had -- and Mark was OK."

Of course, Ryan and Sanchez had a very successful start to their era of Jets football, coming within a game of the Super Bowl in both of their first two seasons together.

Any search of Ryan’s comments during Sanchez’s Jets tenure, during both the successful and unsuccessful stretches, display the coach stating the exact opposite.

Take this story from right after Sanchez was drafted.

Coach Rex Ryan said the team was impressed by Sanchez's footwork and confidence and that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer "put him through every workout known to man and he passed every one of them with flying colors. We knew, I think, right then that this was the guy we really wanted."

The Jets traded into the top five for the quarterback. That typically does not happen unless all of the key figures within an organization sign off. It certainly is not a move a team typically makes if the head coach has substantial concerns about the player not projecting as a franchise quarterback.

Rex Ryan’s tenure with the Jets had some very real highs and some disappointing lows. It just feels in this instance like he is trying to rewrite history with these comments to distance himself from a major decision that backfired.