Even with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer out (even though coach Rex Ryan said he’d be back unless he becomes a head coach), some Jets players want to see more changes on offense.
As Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News explains it, “several key Jets players and members of the organization” have concerns regarding the ability of quarterback Mark Sanchez to do the job.
Some even want the team to dump Sanchez and replace him with Peyton Manning.
“Come on. That’s a no-brainer,” one Jets source told Mehta. “If you have a chance to get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning and you don’t do it, then you’re stupid. If I could get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning, then, hell yeah, I would trade Sanchez.”
At a minimum, the feeling is that Sanchez needs to be pushed harder from within.
“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” one player told Mehta. “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.”
Mehta’s sources “raised serious doubts about [Sanchez’s] ability to lead the Jets, questioning everything from his practice habits to the organization’s coddling of him to how much of a role he truly played in the team making two consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances.”
Another “well-respected player” agreed with the idea of making a move for Manning: “We already have his coach — Tom Moore. Plus, he’s a field general and will get everyone lined up. He will get his playmakers the ball. We can win a Super Bowl with Peyton.” That’s something that some current members of the team believe will never happen with Sanchez under center.
“How can we when he’s not improving at all?” one of the players told Mehta. “He thinks he is, but he’s not. He has shown us what he’s capable of.”
In fairness to Sanchez and those who have promised him a lifetime starting job (i.e., Rex Ryan), not everyone is opposed to concept of Sanchez continuing at quarterback. “Everybody got down on the quarterback,” one Jets source said. “But they weren’t looking at the situations we were putting him in. I don’t think he’s as bad as people are making him out to be. When the [sh-t] started snowballing and he lost confidence, he never recovered. Then, you saw him making one stupid throw and one stupid mistake after another.”
Part of the problem is that players seem to resent the extent to which the organization tries to protect him.
“They don’t want to be truthful with him,” a “prominent player” told Mehta. “They treat him like a baby instead of a man. He goes in a hole when someone tells him the truth. . . . So that should tell you everything. He just doesn’t have the mental toughness to be great . . . especially in New York.”
“They see the organization babying him,” another source told Mehta. “They see him with a sense of entitlement. He’s been given all this and hasn’t done anything. They call him ‘San-chise.’ They make him the face of the organization. They gave him the captain tag. He’s not a captain. He should have never been a captain.”
And now the question is whether he should even be a member of the team. When PFT reported last month that the team privately will explore options at the quarterback position in the offseason, Ryan dismissed it — and once again vowed the Sanchez would still be the guy.
Just like Ryan vowed Schottenheimer would be back. And just like Ryan vowed that the Jets would beat the Giants. And just like Ryan vowed the Jets would win the Super Bowl.
Maybe the unnamed Jets players are aiming their verbal arrows one level too low.