The quarterback controversy in New York just took another turn. With fans hoping that Geno Smith takes over the starting job by the end of training camp, the Jets locker room apparently is hoping that Mark Sanchez remains the starter heading into the season.
Center Nick Mangold, often referred to as the offensive player who knows the most about the team’s offense who isn’t a quarterback by Coach Rex Ryan, voiced the locker room opinion that Sanchez should return as the team’s starting quarterback. In an interview with the New York Post, Mangold explained his feelings towards the embattled Mark Sanchez by saying that “I think Mark is a fantastic quarterback for us, and I think he can do some good things. He showed some good flashes in the spring, getting new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s system down and commanding the offense way that he should be. We’ll see how training camp plays out, but either way, the competition will make him a better player.”
When asked about whether or not the majority of the team shares his beliefs he responded by saying “I believe so. I haven’t walked around with a pen and paper and taken a poll, but from the feeling I get, the locker room wants to win. Whoever gives us the best chance to do that, we want out there — and at this point, Mark gives us that best chance.”
Mangold has been the center for Mark Sanchez the past four years, and has an expert idea as to what the embattled quarterback can bring to the table. Mark Sanchez was able to lead his team to the AFC Championship game in his first two years in the league, but has struggled to achieve any level of success in the year’s since then. Last year was abysmal for Sanchez, posting a 23.4 Total QBR according to ESPN Stats and Info, ranking him last in the NFL in the category.
The locker room is taking nothing away from Geno Smith by wanting Sanchez to start over him this season. Confident in his abilities to lead the team in the future, Mangold explains that the transition between the collegiate and professional level is one that takes time. Mangold discussed Smith with the New York Post, “he can be a good player for us. He’s a hard worker, and he’s asking questions. He’s taking the coaching and taking the advice to heart, and I think he’s doing some good things.”
The transition to the professional level from college is one that typically is thought to be only about the speed of the game. However Mangold points out that there are other obstacles in making the transition. “You gotta learn a whole new system. You’re coming from college where you have all of your buddies from the past four or five years, who all know each other. Now all of a sudden you’re coming to a huddle, you’re telling guys who are 30 years old, couple of kids, a mortgage, you’re telling them what to do. It’s a big transition.”
Geno Smith has the ability to be the team’s quarterback of the future, but with the National Football League having so much emphasis on winning now, the Jets locker room wants Mark Sanchez to start, believing he gives the team the best shot to contend in the AFC this season. This controversy likely is far from over, as fans will begin to groan and complain every time Sanchez struggles this year.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express