After a long holiday weekend, the final week of organized team activities begins for most teams on Tuesday. It’s only May, but the pressure is certainly on New York Jets embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez.
It’s important for Sanchez to finish strong in the final week of OTAs. He had a three-interception performance in practice last week that raised some eyebrows. An anonymous Jets teammate also told CBSSports.com that “80 or 90” percent of the locker room thinks Sanchez is out of chances and it’s time to hand over the job to someone else. These are all signs that New York’s incumbent is losing momentum in the four-way quarterback competition.
The biggest issue for Sanchez is he hasn’t been able to separate himself from the likes of rookie Geno Smith and backups Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. Sanchez has a huge advantage over his competition in playing time and experience. He is supposed to look much better than his unproven competitors this time of year, but that hasn’t been the case.
If Sanchez cannot create separation now, the more likely it is for New York’s coaching staff to go in another direction in September. If Sanchez and Smith are on equal footing, why wouldn’t the Jets start anew and give their rookie second-round pick a chance? We already know what kind of quarterback Sanchez is entering his fifth season. His struggles in OTAs and camps would provide more reason for the Jets to turn the page.
If Sanchez is truly "The Sanchize," as Jets coach Rex Ryan often calls him, it is time to show why he's the incumbent. Staying within the pack of inexperienced quarterbacks is not good enough for a player who has 62 career starts and once led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Games.
The only Jets practice open to the media this week will be on Thursday. So we won't get a peek at how Sanchez is progressing this week until then.