Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Aug 2013

ESPN: Jets Should Start Sanchez

With no reason to believe that Geno Smith would be better than Mark Sanchez right now, and no reason to believe that starting Smith right now would help him long-term, why not use Sanchez to give Smith a little space to learn the NFL game and the Marty Mornhinweg offense?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 07 Aug 2013

9 comments, Last at 15 Aug 2013, 11:11am by Bob Squared


by Football Madman (not verified) :: Wed, 08/07/2013 - 12:35pm

The main reason the Jets should start Sanchez is to protect Smith from garaunteed failure. The Jets are as disfunctional of a franchise as there is in sports. Sticking a rookie QB in the middle of the fire would be the best way to set him up for failure. Let Sanchez burn out through the first part of the season and get the rest of the offense up to par. Then put Smith in and give him the best oppurtunity to succeed.

by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 08/07/2013 - 1:49pm

I don't have Insider, so I can't read the article, but the Jets should start the guy who plays the best in pre-season. That will be Greg McElroy, 11 sack game be damned. I'm still annoyed that the Jets brass are not giving him a chance in this race.

By the way, claiming that the Jets are as 'disfunctional' as any franchise in sports is lunacy. They have been average over the last ten years. Posters in another thread noted that the Bills and Browns wish they had the last five years the Jets have had.

The point that Smith may be ruined by starting him too early is a good one, but he is more pro-ready than Sanchez or Aaron Rodgers were their rookie years. The real answer is to see how things work out in the preseason games and go with Geno if he's ready, otherwise start one of the other two.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 08/07/2013 - 2:53pm

The Jets may not have been the most 'disfunctional' team recently. But they certainly have put the 'fun' in 'disfunctional.'

by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 08/07/2013 - 3:50pm

That's definitely true, but you must remember they have a better marketing team in the NY media than almost any other team in the league.

by Deelron :: Wed, 08/07/2013 - 1:36pm

When was the last time the Jets double bogey offense was anything near par?

by Sifter :: Fri, 08/09/2013 - 7:28am

Running your rookie into the ground in a losing team is probably not a great idea, but I think it's not a bad SHORT term idea. My pet theory for developing rookie QBs is throw them in at the deep end for 4-6 games, then replace them with the veteran. That's assuming that it's tough sledding for the rookie of course...he might go really well, in which case you keep him starting. If not though, putting him on the bench for at least the middle third of the season has a few advantages: it will stop him getting hammered physically; give him a good mental break to give him some time to reflect on his start and work on some things now that he has some first hand NFL experience; and also break his sense of entitlement as well, hopefully making him work harder to win the starting job.

Usually we see, a 'once you go rookie, you never go back' type of development strategy, where I think mixing it up a bit might be helpful.

by Mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Sat, 08/10/2013 - 1:33pm

I believe Bill Walsh rotated Steve DeBerg and Joe Montana starts game by game, and while they did not make the playoffs that year, it paid dividends in 1981. The big difference in the situation is Rex Ryan's job status.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 08/14/2013 - 7:21pm

No, the big difference is that Sanchez is a far cry from being Joe Montana and Ryan is no Bill Walsh.

The Jets have a brutal 1st half schedule, facing the Falcons, Steelers, Bengals, Saints, and the Patriots (twice) before the bye. The Jets will be lucky if they're 2-7 by then. If they haven't won at least 3 games before midseason and Sanchez is still starting, I predict that Rex will be fired. But everyone else probably already knows this...

by Bob Squared (not verified) :: Thu, 08/15/2013 - 11:11am

Lets face it. The only reason Sanchez is still on the team is the ridiculous contract the jets gave him. Cutting him isn't worth the cost - given the current status of the team.

The Jets are going to be bad this year. Let Sanchez take the lumps until Geno is ready to go. Might as well let Sanchez take the hits in the early going to give Geno a chance to watch and learn.