Behind Enemy Lines Part II

Joe McKnight | New York Jets

AZRedReport's Brad Wilbricht goes Behind Enemy Lines to get the latest scoop on the New York Jets from Green and White Report's Rick Laughland.

Brad Wilbricht

1. Almost everything coming out of New York involves discussion about Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. What are your thoughts on both quarterbacks and do they have a long-term future with the Jets? Will Tebow get a chance to be the starter at some point between now and the end of the season?

Rick Laughland

I think the New York Jets but more specifically Rex Ryan is committed to Mark Sanchez for the long-term. Despite his struggles this season, Gang Green's lack of talent at the skill positions offensively have become just another excuse for them retaining Sanchez as the quarterback for the foreseeable future. New York's coaching staff has demonstrated little faith in Tim Tebow to take control of the offense and appear reluctant to give him a fair chance at the starting gig. Ryan is determined to go down with a sinking ship and with Sanchez at the helm. With the Tebow-Sanchez debate garnering a tremendous amount of media attention, second year signal-caller Greg McElroy is the forgotten man on the Jets roster. New York hasn't given the former Alabama star any serious consideration, not even listing him on the active roster last week against the Patriots. With three years still remaining on his contract, the Jets are all-in with Sanchez as the franchise's future rests on the shoulder pads of the fourth-year pro.

BW:

2. Aside from the ongoing quarterback controversy, the future of Rex Ryan in New York is also a highly debated topic. Is Ryan's body of work – which included runs to the AFC Championship game in 2009 and 2010 – enough to keep him around? Has there been any speculation on possible replacements if the Jets move in a different direction?

RL:

There have been rumblings that Ryan could be replaced if the Jets finish out of playoff contention for the second consecutive season. Gang Green made consecutive championship game appearances for the first time in franchise history during Ryan's first two years as head coach. Not only has he changed the culture of the organization, but provided a palpable excitement and buzz that Jets fans grew to love and other fans love to hate. On the heels of an 8-8 season, Ryan's unfulfilled championship guarantees have frustrated Jets fans with the fan-base's morale at an all-time low. Without their best offensive player in Santonio Holmes and defensive force in Darrelle Revis, Ryan will almost assuredly be back for at least one more year with the Green-and-White.

BW:

3. Obviously, the injury to CB Darrelle Revis was a significant blow to the Jets defense. Just how big was the loss of Revis and is he expected to be back to full speed by the start of next season? Has anyone managed to step up in his absence?

RL:

There's no minimizing the loss of Revis, but the Jets secondary, specifically Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson are rising to the occasion. Gang Green's pass defense is No. 6 overall in the NFL, and has been one of the strong suits throughout a disappointing 2012 campaign. The coaching staff is encouraged by the unity the team has shown in the face of hard times even with losing the team's best defensive player. Revis is currently working through the rehab process and is expected to make a full recovery. Revis is one of the NFL's elite athletes and the Jets anticipate he will be back and as good as ever in 2013.

BW:

4. There always seems to be rifts going on in the Jets locker room – most recently with an anonymous defensive player calling out Tebow. With guys like WR Santonio Holmes, CB Antonio Cromartie and LB Bart Scott not afraid to speak their mind, what is it like being in the locker room? Is it uncomfortable at times or is it more of a laid back feeling?

RL:

In all honestly, the Jets locker room is very laid back, and it's the New York media that makes a giant fiasco out of very trivial matters. This year the Jets made their chemistry issues a thing of the past and appear as united and together as ever. Ryan has never been a proponent of telling his players what to say or do and allows them to express their individuality. While at times the locker room chatter seems like a distraction, Ryan tries to use the negative publicity as a rallying cry for his team to overcome great odds. The only thing that bothered Ryan regarding the anonymous comments about Tebow is the fact that his players didn't put their name to the remarks. The Jets head man understands each player is entitled to their own opinion, but wasn't a big fan of them hiding behind an ‘anonymous' title.

BW:

5. Given the Jets' struggles this season – and coming down the stretch last year – would a loss against a lowly 4-7 Arizona team be the straw that breaks the camel's back? Could a loss seal the fate of Ryan, Sanchez and anyone else on the chopping block (or close to the chopping block)?

RL:

A loss to Arizona on Sunday would almost assuredly knock the Jets out of playoff contention and could spell the end for general manager Mike Tannenbaum's tenure in New York. While Ryan and Sanchez have caught heat for a miserable season, Tannenbaum is to blame for a lack of quality depth on the roster and not putting viable pieces around Sanchez in order for him to succeed. Once again, Sanchez and Ryan, both appear secure for at least the next year, but Tannenbaum will be packing his bags if Gang Green is dealt their eighth loss by the Cardinals.

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