Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing and expecting different results. So for the New York Jets and specifically Rex Ryan, giving quarterback Mark Sanchez another chance to start in 2013 is sheer insanity.
In four seasons as a pro, Sanchez has more career interceptions (69), than touchdowns (68), while failing to complete higher than 57 percent of his pass attempts in any single campaign. Add in 26 career fumbles along with a measly 71.7 quarterback rating and the former No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft has mediocrity written all over him.
Sanchez was a turnover machine in 2012 helping to derail the Jets’ playoffs chances and bringing into question his future in the NFL. Even when the Jets clinched consecutive AFC Championship berths in 2009 and 2010, Sanchez rode on the coattails of a bruising running game, powerful offensive line, gritty receiving corps and stout defense to pave the way for deep playoff runs.
Sure the former USC Trojan had his landmark moments in New York, including a brilliant performance in the 2011 AFC divisional playoff win over the New England Patriots, but Sanchez hasn’t evolved into the type of player the Jets were hoping he would when they traded up to get him in the 2009 draft.
After West Virginia standout Geno Smith fell into the Jets' lap on draft day this past April, the signal-caller competition really started to heat up in the Big Apple.
There’s no doubting that Smith is a raw talent and NFL scouts have questioned his footwork in the pocket and his receiver progression, but the rookie’s arm strength and accuracy are almost too good to pass up. The coaching staff and Jets’ fans can live with growing pains if Smith is inserted under center, but if they have to witness Sanchez make the same costly and absent-minded mistakes time and time again, Gang Green could have a mutiny on their hands.
With a quarterback guru at his side in David Lee and West Coast mastermind in offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg, the pieces are in place for New York to groom its signal-caller of the future. The Jets thought they had found the centerpiece of their offense when they drafted the ‘Sanchize’ in Ryan’s first year as head coach, yet four years later it is Geno Smith, not Sanchez who can give the team a renewed sense of hope and promise this upcoming season.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland