Lawrence Brooks

On Your Mark...Sanchez...GO!!!

mark-sanchez-jetsWelcome to Smart Fan…Where we don’t just blindly criticize players and management.

Can Mark Sanchez be an elite caliber quarterback in the NFL?  I say potentially yes he can.  Even more importantly for me (avid Fantasy Football fanatic) can he be an elite fantasy football producer?  I say potentially yes as well.  Well I guess “elite” is a stretch (makes you think of Peyton and Brees) but nonetheless he can be extremely productive.  Sanchez’s progression this offseason is vital to the maturation of the overall team success moving forward in 2011.  The Jets are a “ground and pound” football team and Sanchez’s numbers have reflected as such.  Tallying only 12 TDs to go along with 2,444 yards his rookie season as the full time quarterback is somewhat expected.  His sophomore campaign in the NFL you can see progress being made and trusts from the coaching staff in his abilities.  He had nearly 3,300 yards passing with 17tds.  The biggest indicator that shows the coaches trusted him more is his pass attempts which went from 364 to 507 his 2nd year.  However, in order for the Jets to take off (no pun intended) they have to take the training wheels off the kid.  There is too much talent surrounding him, and no excuse for 2011 to replicate such pedestrian numbers (if they want to reach the SuperBowl).

The New York Jets have been wildly successful in the Rex Ryan Era.  The Jets are coming off of two straight seasons of being 1 win shy of a Super Bowl berth.  There are many looming questions concerning this team once the lockout ends.  They have a total of 17 free agents and over half of them are key contributors for the Jets.  This leads people to wonder “how do the Jets move forward from here?”  Well first they obviously need to sign some of their key players back along with being savvy with the free agent market.  The things that have been most noted as needs for the Jets are (pass rusher, cornerbacks, and receivers). This is the direct result of currently not having cornerback Cromartie and the receiver duo of Braylan Edwards/Santonio Holmes signed.  A pass rusher would definitely be nice to have on a defense ranked 3rd overall, and the realest shut down corner since Prime Time.  Having this abundance of talent definitely helps but the best move the Jets can make this offseason doesn’t lie in free agency of player signings, but in Mark Sanchez.

Often times last year the Jets made Sanchez throw the ball to receivers running elementary routes (quick slant for Holmes/Comebacks for Cotchery/playaction deep to Edwards).  This has to change immediately.  If he has been studying film and gathering players for passing camps then the coaching staff needs to reward him with more opportunities in the passing game.  Often times last season the offense got bogged down and stalled because Schottenheimer’s playcalling was reminiscent high school Offensive Coordinators.  You could visibly see the frustration on player’s face including Mark Sanchez.  Most people often felt he could do more, and even so you have to let him take his lumps to progress.  I believe Sanchez has the moxy and tools to have a 3800yds passing 25-27td type season.  The only problem is will they let him loose a little bit or still fix his dinner plate (so to speak).  Only time will tell and a Super Bowl appearance is waiting on an answer New York Jets!