Let the piling on begin.
Now benched by the New York Jets, quarterback Mark Sanchez is taking it from all angles, including from former teammates.
Former Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins was among the first to line up at the trough, saying Sanchez was more worried about off-field opportunities than getting himself ready to lead the team.
“[Sanchez] had a stellar offensive line,” Jenkins said on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL,” via Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger. “He had running backs that kept the pressure off of him. He had the opportunity to grow and develop. What Sanchez has to take responsibility for is during the time that he could have gotten better he wanted to sit back. He wanted to pose for magazines, worry about his haircuts and do all of that stuff.
“I’m just saying, from what I saw him do, it was a lot better then what it is now. But he coasted. They coddled him. That was what was going on. This is a man’s profession. You have to man up at some point in time and take care.”
Yes, let’s question the offseason dedication of the first quarterback to pose for GQ (not even close). And if you spent your offseasons worrying about cheeseburgers and ballooning up to 400 pounds while skipping team conditioning workouts (as Jenkins did), you’re an even higher authority on preparation.
The issue isn’t anything in particular Jenkins is saying, as it’s far from the first time the budding television personality has made outrageous statements to try to get himself noticed.
The issue is the Sanchez has become an easy mark, and a red herring for the real issues the Jets have.
He’s far from an elite quarterback, but he’s proven himself to be sufficient to make playoff runs (two AFC Championship Games, four road playoff wins), when properly surrounded. The Jets failed to do that this year, lacking the kind of run game they needed or any downfield threats once Santonio Holmes was injured. And adding a sideshow in Tim Tebow only created more pressure for him to perform in an untenable situation, making things worse rather than better.
No amount of haircuts, or cheeseburgers, can change the fact Sanchez never had a chance this year.