Although it hasn’t yet officially been announced by Rex Ryan, multiple sources are reporting that rookie QB Mark Sanchez will be named the NY Jets starting QB for 2009.
Bad move in my opinion.
The battle at QB this August has hardly been overwhelming by either candidate as veteran Kellen Clemens has maybe played a little better than Sanchez. However, based on observing the rookie, he doesn’t nearly look ready to lead this team into the season and really, the risk of throwing him to the dogs could set him back if he fails.
The Jets first four games are against very formidable opponents, all with very good defenses (Houston, New England, Tennessee and New Orleans) and it will a big task for the youngster to be successful against these teams. There will also be a lot of pressure on him as the Jets have been built to be a “win now” team based on the free agent money they have spent over the past two off-seasons. Granted, Ryan will likely scale down the offense with a big dose of Thomas Jones, Leon Washington and Shonn Green, but you know that the Jets’ opponents will focus on stopping the run in order to force Sanchez in to throwing situations. I’m thinking right now that Bill Belichick is licking his chops waiting for September 30th.
The bottom line is that I think the smart move is to start Clemens. Although most who have read my opinions in the past know I am far from a Clemens fan, I think he gives the team the best chance to win to start the season. The upside is that if he is successful, the team will be in a good position for this season and it will also give more time for Sanchez to learn and develop. Not to mention, it will also give Clemens trade value after this season which undoubtedly will be his last in a Jets uniform. Naming Sanchez the starter now basically shatters any value for Clemens.
If Clemens bombs and let’s say Ryan replaces him with Sanchez 4 or 5 games into the season, the rookie comes in with no pressure. If Sanchez bombs and is pulled for Clemens you have to be worried that it will damage his confidence. The names David Klingler, Andre Ware, Kyle Boller, Heath Shuler and David Carr all come to mind when thinking of high draft pick QB’s that were thrown into the fire too soon. Most of them never recovered.
Granted, the stories last season of Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco instantly come to mind as arguments that starting rookies can work out. However, those stories were a bit of a fluke. If you look at the history of starting rookie QB’s most of these players and teams had rough years.
Sanchez is without a doubt the future of this team for the next decade or more. Why throw him to the lions so soon when it’s not necessary and could potentially set him back.
I just don’t see the logic.