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Thread: As Rookie Quarterback, Jets’ Sanchez Blazes New Path

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    Post As Rookie Quarterback, Jets’ Sanchez Blazes New Path

    As Rookie Quarterback, Jets’ Sanchez Blazes New Path
    Published: September 11, 2009

    When the Mark Sanchez era begins Sunday in Houston, it presents an intriguing case study, one with some rookie quarterback history to draw from but no precedents to cite.

    The Jets are not the first team to start a rookie quarterback in the season opener. Nor will they be the last. Yet Sanchez’s situation does not closely resemble those of Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco, two rookies who led their teams to the playoffs last season. Nor does Sanchez’s situation easily compare to the long list of rookie quarterbacks who flopped before those two found success.

    In fact, never in the National Football League has a team that won nine games in the previous season handed its starting job to a 22-year-old rookie who sat in more college games than he started. This is uncharted territory, for Sanchez and the Jets.

    “If you go with the stats, I probably won’t make it,” he told reporters recently.

    Sanchez is the first rookie quarterback since 1985 to start for a team that had a winning record the previous season, and in that case, Dieter Brock was a rookie only because of a technicality. Brock was 34 when he started for the Rams, and he had enjoyed a long and relatively productive career in the Canadian Football League.

    The 13 opening-day rookie starting quarterbacks who preceded Ryan and Flacco compiled a combined record of 50-121-1.

    N.F.L. history is filled with examples of rookie quarterbacks gone bad, whether they started on opening day or not. This includes Hall of Famers like Terry Bradshaw (24 interceptions), John Elway (a 54.9 quarterback rating) and Troy Aikman (an 0-11 record as a starter), and less notable signal callers like David Carr (sacked 76 times) and Joey Harrington (50.1 percent completion rate, 16 interceptions).

    Some quarterbacks use their rookie struggles as a springboard to the Super Bowl. Dan Marino played in the championship game in his second season. Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger won championships in their sophomore campaigns. But all struggle, even celebrated rookies like Ryan and Flacco.

    In fact, since the N.F.L. expanded its playoff format to 12 teams for the 1990 postseason, only 5 of the 26 rookie quarterbacks who started at least eight games advanced to the postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    “I was in Denver with Elway his rookie year,” Texans Coach Gary Kubiak said. “Just how much pressure that was, the storm that John had to weather to get that franchise on its way. Great players come out of those things better people, better players, and they tend to last for a long time.”

    The Jets are banking on that for Sanchez, to the tune of $28 million guaranteed and up to $60 million over all, along with the kind of expectations last seen when the Jets drafted Joe Namath. When Sanchez starts in Houston, he will snap the Jets’ streak of 491 games without starting a rookie quarterback, the longest such stretch in the N.F.L. And Sanchez will become the first Jets rookie to start the first game since 1960, when they were the Titans. Not even Namath did that.

    But Sanchez’s coaches and teammates believe they found a franchise quarterback in this draft. In Sanchez, they see a GQ signal caller who shredded Penn State’s defense for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Rose Bowl, a rookie who improved in each preseason game, finishing the finale 5 for 5, for 67 yards and a touchdown.

    Growing up in Southern California, Sanchez hung posters of Elway, Marino and Warren Moon on his bedroom walls. Yet teammates do not expect him to be overly nervous against the Texans. In many ways, Sanchez was the built for this, starting with early competition in all sports against his older brothers. Do what you’ve done all your life, Coach Rex Ryan told him, be the guy we drafted.

    “Mark has the right mental makeup to handle this,” the team’s offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, said. “Not many things bother him.”

    Sanchez inherits a team that believes it is built to win now, a squad with six returning Pro Bowl players and more than $100 million in guaranteed contracts handed to veterans since the end of the 2006 season. Ryan has promised the Jets will run the ball and play stifling defense, and while they will not be able to hide the inevitable mistakes that come from starting a rookie quarterback, they can position Sanchez to succeed.

    Last season Flacco and Ryan rode versions of that same combination — ball control, offensive-line strength, running-back skill or depth, elite defense — right into the playoffs. In Baltimore, Flacco won games by managing them, allowing the No. 2-ranked defense, then led by Ryan, to provide field position. In Atlanta, Ryan benefitted from a ground game that ranked second.

    The Jets can aim for the same formula, but unknowns remain regarding Sanchez. For one, he started a total of 16 games at Southern California, leading Coach Pete Carroll to question Sanchez’s decision to turn pro a year early. Then again, the Trojans run a pro-style offense with concepts similar to those run by the Jets.

    There are larger concerns:

    Sanchez never brought the Trojans back in the fourth quarter on the road. (The Trojans’ lone 2008 loss was at Oregon State. In fact, his lone rally came at home against Arizona.)

    Sanchez never started more than six games in a row. The Jets do not have a bye until Week 8.

    Sanchez never played with the temperature below 55 degrees, whereas successful rookies like Flacco and Ryan played their college games in cold-weather regions, Flacco at Delaware and Ryan at Boston College.

    Peyton Manning indicated to reporters in Indianapolis in training camp that rookie quarterbacks should start, the better to gain experience that cannot be culled from sitting on the sideline. The question remains, but at what cost?

    Regardless, the Jets have gone from an aging, ailing future Hall of Famer in Brett Favre to Sanchez, the second-youngest quarterback in football. They believe in him, having not scaled back the offense despite his inexperience, and they also believe they have the ingredients to aid in his success.

    Sanchez called the Jets’ opener a must win. And someone asked Ryan what was tougher, the first game as a head coach or the first game as a starting quarterback.

    “It might be hard on both of us,” Ryan said. “But it’s going to be hard on the Texans, too.”
    Last edited by ARodFLKeysJetsFan; 09-12-2009 at 09:26 AM.

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    I know there will be bumps on the road, but I have confidence in Sanchez. I think we finally got it right after over 40 years.

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    ... ... ... ... ...















    l_j_r

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    I believe Sanchez is going to have the best season out of Sanchez Ryan and Flacco's first season. I also believe we will NOT be a ground and pound team like so many think, it's just not really the offensive scheme to do that, and we dont really have the personnel either. We may not pass quite as much as last year but we will pass very often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysd View Post
    I believe Sanchez is going to have the best season out of Sanchez Ryan and Flacco's first season. I also believe we will NOT be a ground and pound team like so many think, it's just not really the offensive scheme to do that, and we dont really have the personnel either. We may not pass quite as much as last year but we will pass very often.
    Sanchez will throw the ball enough to keep defenses from putting 8 in the box every down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARodFLKeysJetsFan View Post
    Sanchez will throw the ball enough to keep defenses from putting 8 in the box every down.
    Rex said yesterday Sanchez isn't going to be just a game manager he's going to throw deep and be himself like he's always played.. Look what Shotty called for his first play in preseason play a long pass to the Clown.. Granted the game didn't count but I think they will have him passing more then people think..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARodFLKeysJetsFan View Post
    Sanchez will throw the ball enough to keep defenses from putting 8 in the box every down.
    I hope not, hopefully our running game is clicking. The more he throws the more of a chance we have of a disaster, at least this year. He should throw enough not to lose the game, not to win it.

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    Possibly.

    I wouldn't rule anything out the first game of the season.

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    September 13, 2009

    the beginning of a great new era of Jet football

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    When Sanchez starts in Houston, he will snap the Jets’ streak of 491 games without starting a rookie quarterback, the longest such stretch in the N.F.L. And Sanchez will become the first Jets rookie to start the first game since 1960, when they were the Titans.
    Yeah, how has that worked out for us? If SB appearances were a batting average, ours would be .021 But it looks better if we go with Division Championships .061

    Definitely glad we're trying something different - Sanchez's glaring talent trumps the college games started stat

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARodFLKeysJetsFan View Post
    “It might be hard on both of us,” Ryan said. “But it’s going to be hard on the Texans, too.”
    I like that attitude. It demonstrates confidence in the team's ability to mitigate its flaws and utilize its advantages against the opponent.

    Concentrating on one's flaws produces a self-consciousness that creates hesitation in a context of fear. That attitude plagued Mangini's regime after his first year, I'm glad that it seems we're turning away from that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzsaw View Post
    Yeah, how has that worked out for us? If SB appearances were a batting average, ours would be .021 But it looks better if we go with Division Championships .061

    Definitely glad we're trying something different - Sanchez's glaring talent trumps the college games started stat
    Very true. If college longevity corresponded with success, then players like Brohm and Chad Henne would be starting elite QB's by now.

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    Reading Rex's quotes gets me pumped up for football.

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    Ryan said. “But it’s going to be hard on the Texans, too.”


    Quote Originally Posted by mavericknyc1980 View Post
    Reading Rex's quotes gets me pumped up for football.


    ... + 1 ...




    l_j_r

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    Sanchez's success will be directly proportionate to Shottenhimer's offensive strategic play calling. They need to adopt NE's scheme of running a continual mix of short drop passes, dinks, dunks, mid field screens and solid run plays that set up that deadly long ball. If Sanchez fails it will be directly related to Shottenhimers inability to design an un-overly-complicated offensive scheme that a veteran or a rookie can execute. One of the main components this team has lacked has been intelligent and strategic offensive play calling. Hopefully Rex will require Shott to keep it simple and play basic simple smash mouth offense.

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    Man I am already getting nervous for tomorrow. It's the best feeling, football is finally here!

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    I am excited to watch Sanchez play his first full NFL game.

    I am even more excited to watch the Jets starting defense play it's first full game & hopefully, Rex Ryan's first win as our head coach!!!

    Keep Your head up Sanchez & make all us Jets fans proud!!!

    Bring the heat Rex!!!! Just bring it!!!!!

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