Now that everyone has had a couple of days to digest the New York Jets disappointing performance against the Denver Broncos it is time to look forward to the remainder of the season. In order for the Jets to make a legitimate run at a playoff berth quarterback Mark Sanchez has to perform at a high level. Sanchez’ struggles of late have stifled the Jets offense and the team’s ability to win games. Going forward the Jets as a team must find ways to restore the young signal caller’s confidence and put him in situations where he can succeed.
Streamline the offense- Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer must work with Mark Sanchez and figure out the plays that he is most comfortable with. Call the plays that work and get rid of the gimmick formations and fancy route trees. Use more three step drops to get Sanchez in rhythm and the hurry up offense as well. Now is not the time for Brian Schottenheimer to show off his vast playbook, it is time to help his young quarterback get the offense back in sync.
Offensive line play- The New York Jets offensive line as a unit must do a better job of protecting Mark Sanchez. There are far too many times when pass rushers are getting free hits on the quarterback, especially from the right side where Wayne Hunter is struggling. Gang Green’s line must clean up their protection and communication issues and give Sanchez some time to move around the pocket.
Let the kid play- It is one thing to say you have confidence in your quarterback, it is another to show it on the field. It is time for the Jets coaching staff to take the handcuffs off Mark Sanchez and just let the kid play. Let the kid fire the ball around, have some fun, and regain the confidence of his teammates. Ground and pound is great when it is working, but with the inconsistent play of the offensive line it is just not realistic. At this point the running game is repeatedly putting the offense in third and long situations which is a recipe for failure. If you are scared to let the kid throw the ball, then he should not be in the game.
Enough with the tough love act- While I understand and appreciate Rex Ryan’s open media policy enough is enough with the Sanchez bashing from his own team. From Rex Ryan to Santonio Holmes it is time to shut your mouth and encourage your quarterback. Use the motto “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything” especially to the media. Don’t preach that you have a united locker room when with the first sign of adversity the fingers start pointing all over the place. Stop fueling the media fires by putting additional pressure on Sanchez and the team.
Too much coaching? Recently on ESPN Keyshawn Johnson mentioned that the amount of coaches that Sanchez deals with could actually be hindering his development. There is offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh, and offensive consultant Tom Moore. It could be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Rex Ryan must ensure that Sanchez is getting a consistent message from the coaching staff and is not being pulled in different directions.
Not enough coaching? On Sirius NFL Radio Rich Gannon discussed his time consulting with Mark Sanchez at Jets practice. Gannon provided examples where Sanchez was missing throws during drills and came back to the sideline and received minimal coaching. Gannon went on to say that he started to coach up Mark at practice while Schottenheimer and company looked on. To say this is concerning is an understatement. Rex Ryan must meet with his coaches and make sure that his quarterback is getting everything that he needs in order to be successful. It is one thing to be a defensive minded head coach, it is another to be clueless to what is going on with the offensive side of the ball.
Entering his third season in the NFL Mark Sanchez has proved that he can be a very effective quarterback. Sanchez has engineered several fourth quarter comebacks in addition to having some big games in the playoffs. It is up to Rex Ryan and his team to help Mark Sanchez get back to his winning ways. Failure to do so will result in a lost season.