|Sanchez -- and maybe Rex Ryan -- will be out of excuses if he struggles in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
It's been a rough week for quarterback Mark Sanchez, which is saying something because the Jets' season ended ingloriously in South Beach 11 days ago. A quick recap:
* Wide receiver Santonio Holmes quits on team during loss to Dolphins;
* Former Jets player Kris Jenkins says mean things about Sanchez;
* Unnamed players rip Sanchez as "lazy;"
* Jets center Nick Mangold rips unnamed players, supports his quarterback.
And then on Thursday, team owner Woody Johnson, who must feel at times like he's the proprietor of a traveling circus, said that he's never heard Sanchez described as lazy.
|Nightmare in New York|
Johnson was also asked how the Jets could un-derail the train.
“How do you correct that? That’s alchemy," he said. "Inside the locker room is one of those things that every year is a little different. Thirty percent new players. The fact that we didn’t go to Cortland maybe hurt us… Every team didn’t have an offseason. So maybe it hurt us a little more than some others."
Maybe that's the problem: Johnson thinks sorcery will solve the Jets' locker room issues. That, and doing away with captains should fix everything. But the owner explains that the salary cap and personnel evaluations also play a key role.
“I think the money and rules… The rules prevent you from stocking players and recruiting players the way you can do in some of the college systems,” Johnson said. “Everybody has the same amount of money to spend . So, there’s a certain accountant factor of being a good NFL owner or manager or coach. There’s a risk-reward you have to look at very carefully.”
So while players not willing to go on record are happy to point out that Sanchez is a shiftless layabout, he has the support of his center and his owner.
And now that the metaphorical albatross from around his neck has been removed (at least that's the hope; if Sanchez struggles next season then the Jets will be out of excuses), the plan is to simplify the playbook.
It'll be one of new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's first acts. ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini explains:
“Look for Sparano to scale back the playbook. Schottenheimer ran a high-volume offense and it overwhelmed Sanchez at times. Sanchez also needs a quarterback coach who can help him better understand pass coverages. Too often he doesn’t know how to react when his first read is covered.”
Maybe that's the problem: Sanchez isn't lazy, he just had trouble understanding what Schottenheimer was trying to do. Sparano, no doubt, will solve everything.
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