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Rex Ryan: I thought I needed to make a change

Arizona Cardinals v New York Jets Getty Images

The Mark Sanchez era as the Jets’ starting quarterback might have come to an end at the Meadowlands on Sunday.

Sanchez was benched in the third quarter of the game and watched Greg McElroy lead the team to a touchdown on his first drive to give the Jets a 7-6 lead. Coach Rex Ryan was pretty succinct in the postgame press conference when asked about his decision.

“I thought I needed to make a change,” Ryan said.

Some might say he needed to make it earlier, but there’s no doubt that it was the right call on Sunday. Sanchez threw three interceptions in the first half and wasn’t moving the team at all in the second half before getting pulled. Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Ryan and Sanchez had a private conversation at the quarterback’s locker after the game with Ryan’s arm around Sanchez. Sanchez said it “just wasn’t my day” and it wouldn’t be surprising if he doesn’t get another day to try for a different result.

Ryan was noncommittal about who would start at quarterback against the Jaguars next week, but said that he was “comfortable” with McElroy as the team’s quarterback. Given how poorly Sanchez played today and how poorly he’s played all season, the guess is that McElroy gets the nod next week. Tim Tebow would be another choice, but the Jets haven’t shown much interest in going that route this season.

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51 Responses to “Rex Ryan: I thought I needed to make a change”
  1. skoobyfl says: Dec 2, 2012 5:07 PM

    Putting his toe in new water.

  2. flash1283 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:07 PM

    Jets fans thought it was time 4 weeks ago

  3. jetsfansince1968 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:08 PM

    Woody should fire the coach for starting Sanchez Q3

  4. beerbudsnbevo says: Dec 2, 2012 5:08 PM

    Yeah…so you could preserve that play-off run, huh?

    Rex Ryan…soon to be D-Coordiator on another team

  5. bathroomben7 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:08 PM

    The Sanchise is finished. Good riddance. Although it should be Tebow in, not McElroy

  6. The Prophet says: Dec 2, 2012 5:10 PM

    I wish our head coach would make a change—Viking fans :(

  7. kenorv says: Dec 2, 2012 5:12 PM

    Translation. “I wanted to make a change sooner but I didn’t want to do it while Tebow was active. Sanchez is awful but Tebow is garbage. I didn’t want all the Tebowmaniacs rioting so I finally convinced Tim to fake a rib injury so we could deactivate him and activate McElroy so when I benched Mark, it would be Greg taking his place. If only Tim had gone with the plan sooner, perhaps we’d still have a shot at the playoffs.”

  8. beerbudsnbevo says: Dec 2, 2012 5:13 PM

    Thus another USC “SYSTEM” QB….

    When will GM’s learn USC is not the place for QB’s…

    It’s where you go for Safetys, LB’s and defense in general.

  9. stoutfiles says: Dec 2, 2012 5:13 PM

    Sanchez said it “just wasn’t my day”

    Your day? Try year.

  10. ncm42 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:13 PM

    Anybody else think Tebow was inactive because Rex knew the switch was likely this week, and he wanted to have Tebow not be an option?

  11. tdk24 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:13 PM

    McElroy is legit.

  12. kash71 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:15 PM

    Ok you changed the Qb, how bout that Coach and GM position?

  13. pftcensorssuck says: Dec 2, 2012 5:17 PM

    “Mark Sanchez is our starting quarterback”

    Yeah …. until he’s NOT.

    The circus continues.

  14. pixelito says: Dec 2, 2012 5:17 PM

    Sanchez is due $15M next season, good luck cutting him.

  15. raymondtx says: Dec 2, 2012 5:17 PM

    Getting benched for Greg McElroy? That is when you know you blow.

  16. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Dec 2, 2012 5:18 PM

    No Jets fan here by any means, but I respect Ryan for calling it straight: he felt he had to make a change. There was no pretense about it, and he was gracious to Sanchez afterward.

    As for Sanchez, yes – his play was not up to par. But, he’s been classy as can be given the trying circumstances he’s in. Can he play on Sundays? I’m not seeing it. Is he handling the off-the-field stuff with class? I think so. Only problem is performance and production are what feeds the bottom line NFL. I wish him well.

  17. buffalobills2012 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:19 PM

    its gonna be funny whn mcelroy gets injured and they have to go back to Sanchize

  18. rr2000k says: Dec 2, 2012 5:23 PM

    Woody-I think I need to make a change…at HC.

  19. timb12 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:26 PM

    It’s sad that with the numbers McElroy put up people are acting like he deserves the job lol. He might over Sanchez and Tebow, but he’s still a bottom 8 quarterback.

  20. csilojohnson says: Dec 2, 2012 5:26 PM

    Anyone who thinks Tebow shouldve started is an idiot. The Jets refusal to use him should only prove this point more.

  21. realitypolice says: Dec 2, 2012 5:28 PM

    Everyone who is saying he made the move purposely on a week when Tebow wasn’t available is dead on. There is no doubt in my mind.

    Everyone around the team knew as the season went along that Tebow was not a viable option but for some reason they must have felt they couldn’t risk the fallout from demoting him and/or they wanted to keep him #2 so that he would be available for wildcat duties.

    In fact, I think that’s the real reason Tebow was deactivated. Why do it now, when the “injury” is nearly a month old? They knew this was the week and didn’t want to deal with the “Tebow” chants.

  22. fightingwombat says: Dec 2, 2012 5:30 PM

    Pete Carroll’s words are coming back to haunt Sanchez… he should have spent the extra year at USC (but like a previous poster stated, USC is a good school for the Secondary and LB’s, not for QB’s).

  23. giants56 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:36 PM

    Well this will become messy now…

  24. electionconfidential says: Dec 2, 2012 5:36 PM

    Since when do a guys “broken ribs” get worse each week?? Didn’t Tebow break those ribs two weeks ago? To my knowledge broken ribs tend to get better, not worse…

    But now they decide to deactivate him on the same week a QB change is made… who are they trying to kid?

  25. delusionalcardsfan says: Dec 2, 2012 5:38 PM

    Thanks Rex! :D we need all the draft position we can get!

  26. 2ndaryinsanity says: Dec 2, 2012 5:40 PM

    Too little, too late? GM should be fired for the lack of talent. Coach should be fired because, despite early success, Rex has turned the team into a circus.

  27. phloorioisanarcissist says: Dec 2, 2012 5:41 PM

    I thought you needed to make a change at QB before the season even started Rex…

    As did most the NFL world.

  28. rams1999 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:42 PM

    Why in the world did the Jets even trade for Tebow? Seems like they dont even want him. Wierdo team.

  29. righton989 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:42 PM

    Remember that Rex isn’t signing the $8.3 million guaranteed paycheck to the Sanchize in 2013 . LOL NY Clowns.

  30. raji1824 says: Dec 2, 2012 5:46 PM

    Mike Tannenbaum is the problem at the root for jets.
    He shouldn’t have given Sanchez an extension.

  31. brenenostler says: Dec 2, 2012 5:58 PM

    Somewhere, Chad Pennington is sitting on his couch, laughing hysterically.

  32. bigharold says: Dec 2, 2012 5:59 PM

    Keep in mind that whoever is the Jets QB they still have a weak running game and a bunch of mismatched unproven receivers. It’s hard to be successful at ground and pound when you can’t consistently move the ball on the ground. You can’t saddle Sanchez with ALL the responsibility for the Jets offensive ineptitude. But, conversely he has yet to prove that he’s capable of consistently playing at a high level which is why he finds himself in the current predicament. He certainly isn’t anywhere close to being the type of QB that can take control of the game.

    Interestingly enough the last time the Jets had a full blown QB controversy was between Richard Todd and Matt Robinson back in the late 70s, early 80s. Todd eventually won that battle, he wore number 14 and was from Alabama, .. just like McElroy. Coincidence?

  33. isphet71 says: Dec 2, 2012 6:02 PM

    “Anyone who thinks Tebow shouldve started is an idiot. The Jets refusal to use him should only prove this point more.”

    Do I think he’s a starter in the NFL? no.

    Do I think he’s the best QB on the Jets right now? yes.

    He should be starting just because the Jets’ QBs are THAT bad. I’m not sure they have a single QB on their roster that could crack the top THREE QBs on any other team.

  34. mrchainbluelightning says: Dec 2, 2012 6:04 PM

    Welcome to the 3rd round Matt Barkley

  35. davidcl77 says: Dec 2, 2012 6:12 PM

    As I’ve said before, pathetic coach, qb, offensive coordinator and team.
    They have senile Joe Namath championing Sanchez. Lol!!!!

  36. cmdrsmooth says: Dec 2, 2012 6:13 PM

    Good job Rex. Nice to see you make a decision. There may be hope for you after all.

  37. Spencer says: Dec 2, 2012 6:14 PM

    Finally. Sanchez should have been benched weeks ago.

  38. thecannula says: Dec 2, 2012 6:19 PM

    Sanchez is Gone with “only” 8 Million J&J

    Bucks going with him!

    A breakdown of his contract:

    • His 2012 compensation will remain the same as the previous contract ($11.75 million), except now it’s fully guaranteed and will be divided as follows: $8 million signing bonus; $3.25 million base; $500,000 workout bonus.

    • His 2013 compensation went from a non-guaranteed $6 million to a guaranteed $8.25 million, bringing the total guarantee in the new contract to $20.5 million.

    • The money in 2014-2016 is not guaranteed. That includes $11.5 million in ’14 ($2 million roster bonus, $9 million base, $500,000 workout), $14 million in ’15 ($1 million roster bonus, $12.5 million base, $500,000 workout) and $12.25 million in ’16 ($1 million roster bonus, $10.75 million base, $500,000 workout). There’s also $10 million in potential escalators.

  39. pastabelly says: Dec 2, 2012 6:20 PM

    They need to start McElroy just to see what they have before the draft. I agree that their real ineptitude was guaranteeing $13M to Sanchez in 2013. Also agree that this doesn’t bode well for Barkley.

  40. razzlejag says: Dec 2, 2012 6:21 PM

    Sanchez did the right thing leaving USC early. He got all this money and will never have to work again. He’ll get cut next year, have his health and a ton of money.

  41. pappert says: Dec 2, 2012 6:47 PM

    I didn’t know he could think. I “thought” he just ran his lips like the breaks were broken. ( Rex of course)

  42. llfreedman says: Dec 2, 2012 7:24 PM

    So every week when Rex said Mark gives us the best chance to win…wow.

    I wish he would just say, hey, look I was wrong, I had faith in my guy, but it didn’t work out. I take full responsibility for the failures of this franchise.

  43. blueballzny says: Dec 2, 2012 7:40 PM

    As a Giants fan, I absolutely love seeing as much chaos as possible in the Jets organization. However, anyone who thinks Sanchez is not going to start next week doesn’t understand how the Jets are run. Rex and Tannenbaum are tied to Sanchez. Both know that Sanchez gives the team the best chance to win. If McElroy was really the answer he wouldn’t been given a chance by now. Rex loves trying to “challenge” Sanchez like this. As bad as things have been, the Jets are still in the playoff hunt. Their last 4 games are against Jacksonville, Tennessee, San Diego and Buffalo. Doesn’t get any easier than that. Ryan knows if he pulls Sanchez he will have a revolt in the locker room.

    Unless the Jets completely bomb, Rex Ryan will be back. As much as I can’t stand him, he will be the Jets coach for one more year. Can’t say the same for Tannenbaum though. His last 4 drafts have been beyond terrible. The Jets have so many holes to fill. So much for Mr. T. being a so called draft guru.

  44. realitypolice says: Dec 2, 2012 7:47 PM

    Oh, and by the way, can we consider the whole “Tebow just wins games” fairy tale to be fully debunked?

    The way the Broncos are playing this year with virtually the same exact same lineup plus an actual real live QB shows that if anything they UNDERachieved with Tebow leading them.

    The exact same team that struggled to win close games against bad teams last year and got blown out by Detroit, Buffalo and New England (twice) is now quite possibly the best or second best team in the entire AFC, with the only major change being at QB.

    If Tebow still wants to be in the NFL in two years, I suggest he start learning to catch passes instead of wasting another year trying to learn how to throw them.

  45. edithpiaf51 says: Dec 2, 2012 8:00 PM

    Fire Rex Ryan as coach and fire Mark Sanchez. Try playing Tim Tebow, he may pleasantly suprise everyone. Sanchez stinks.

  46. pariseinminnesotabichez says: Dec 2, 2012 9:16 PM

    They obviously brought Tebow in for national attention, can u say ” waste of money ” and louder?

  47. edithpiaf51 says: Dec 2, 2012 9:24 PM

    I am a marketing professor and I can honestly say you are right. I like Tebow but yes he was brought there for marketing, and promotions. The jets are all marketing, sales, promotion, and PR but no substance.

  48. ytownjoe says: Dec 2, 2012 9:49 PM

    Why is Tim Tebow on the team?

  49. edithpiaf51 says: Dec 2, 2012 10:35 PM

    I ask the same question why Tebow is on the team. He is hardly being utlised.

  50. Deb says: Dec 2, 2012 10:38 PM

    I knew Ryan was high on McElroy after his first training camp–and with good reason. So I’ve been wondering why he hasn’t given Greg a shot.

    And bathroomben7, the last time McElroy and Tebow met head-to-head on a football field, it was McElroy who came out the winner. Tebow is a great football player. But McElroy is a quarterback.

  51. dudeicle says: Dec 3, 2012 1:19 AM

    with the running game suckin’ the way it is…. why aren’t they using tbow as a running back?

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