Football season has officially begun. Let the training camp battles begin. Here in Gotham City, there is one contest that will take center stage throughout the month of August – who will earn the right to take the first snap of the 2013 campaign for the New York Jets?
What will they have won?
Sanchez knows that his days in New York are numbered. He can delay the inevitable with stellar play, but sooner or later, he will be gone. Sanchez has regressed since leading the team to back-to-back AFC Championship games. He has lacked consistency, made poor decisions with the football, and seems to be easily overwhelmed by opposing defenses. He possesses the arm strength to make all of the throws, but tries to do too much as opposed to playing within the system. The Jets’ lack of offensive weapons has hurt, particularly in the play-action passing game.
Even if Sanchez wins the job and plays well, his days are numbered. Gone are the days where the high-priced rookie quarterback sits on the bench and learns with the clip board in his hand. In the 21st century win-now NFL, organizations want immediate return on their investment. The best that Sanchez can hope for is that he plays well enough to impress his future employer. If he wins the competition, his audition begins September 8th against the Buccaneers. If he loses out to Geno Smith, it will be a long year.
There is no position in all of professional sports that is more demanding than quarterback. And in the NFL, there is no tougher city to play quarterback than in The Big Apple. Smith endured criticism of everything from his field presence to his work ethic in the days before he was drafted. Over recent weeks, he’s taken a beating in the media for declining to attend work outs hosted by the quarterback whose job he competes for. Factor in the dry spell that Jets’ fans have suffered, and you have an ugly set of circumstances for a young quarterback.
Smith is strong armed and athletic, but there are questions surrounding his NFL-readiness. He has worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun, and now needs to adapt to taking snaps under center, where the speed of the pass rush off of the edge and his vision of the field are going to take some getting used to. Not many consider the “Air Raid” offense to be a good way to prepare for life in the NFL, so fans should expect growing pains – but the question is – how much patience do the Jets’ fans have after enduring the last two seasons?
Regardless of who wins, Marty Mornhinweg’s high –completion percentage passing game should help. If Mike Goodson can put his legal trouble behind him, he can provide value both on the ground and in the passing game. But the bottom line is – Sanchez is as good as gone, it’s not a matter of “if”, only a matter of “when”, and when Smith takes over, whether it’s September 8th of 2013 or further down the line, his leash will be extremely short thanks to the failed personnel decisions that took place before he was a member of the team. He may not get the chance to develop the way a young quarterback should, and may well be in the same boat as Sanchez in 2017.