cover

“4th quartergate” – JC’s take Dan Leberfeld

Rex Ryan playing Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter against the Giants, and the quarterback getting hurt during his stint in that game, continues to have a lingering impact on the Jets.

Honestly, if Sanchez didn’t get hurt, he’d probably be named the starter this week, or maybe it would have happened already.

Let me start with what Jason La Canfora wrote on the subject, and then respond.

“But, please, spare me the faux outrage over Sanchez, the same guy everyone wanted to run out of town after the butt fumble last season, if not sooner,” La Canfora wrote for CBSSports.com.. “The guy who is only there because of the guaranteed money tied to his contract. The guy who was being ridiculed for his propensity to continue throwing mind-numbing interceptions just a week ago in this very preseason.

“That’s the quarterback who is supposed to be under bubble wrap? Really? It’s an affront to great quarterbacks everywhere and the football gods to put Sanchez behind a back-up offensive line in the third pre-season game as the staff continues to evaluate the position with rookie Geno Smith just back from injury himself? Because somebody was going to have to take those snaps, and the Jets season — imperiled before they ever gathered for the start of camp — is now doomed by Sanchez absorbing a tough blow?

“Seriously?”

Yes, seriously.

True, some people ripping Ryan for putting Sanchez in the game late, against the Giants, behind a backup offensive line, leading to an injury, are the some of the same people who tried to run the QB out of town after last season.

And I’ve been as critical of Sanchez as anyone, so maybe I fall into this category.

But times change, scenarios change.

Sanchez clearly outplayed Geno Smith in an over-hyped quarterback competition this summer. Smith isn’t ready to start just yet.

And then Smith went in against the Giants, in his big chance to show the Jets’ brass what he could do in extended game action, and was wildly inconsistent.

He threw three picks, and gave up a safety.

Once Ryan and the Jets’ offensive coaches saw this underwhelming performance from Smith, they should have said to themselves, “We can’t put Sanchez in behind the backup offensive line in the 4th quarter because Geno’s clearly not ready to start, and we need Mark to start the opener.”

This isn’t second-guessing or being two-faced – it’s common sense.

And on top of that, Greg McElroy is dealing with a knee injury, so that is another reason to be careful with Sanchez against the Giants.

Considering Smith’s uneven camp (where he constantly held the ball too long), and his “brutal” performance against an average Giants defense, Rex, Marty and company shouldn’t have put Sanchez in behind a backup line.

*THE LATEST ISSUE OF JETS CONFIDENTIAL MAGAZINE IS OUT, AND HAS THE BIGGEST TRAINING DIARY EVER, AND TONS OF WHISPERS. YOU CAN PICK ONE UP ON A TRI-STATE AREA NEWS STAND, OR SUBSCRIBE BY CALLING 1-800-932-4557. OR YOU CAN SUBCRIBE ON THIS WEBSITE. MAGAZINE CONTENT IS DIFFERENT THAN THIS WEBSITE.