Mark Sanchez and 5 NFL Players Fighting for Their Jobs

Soven BerySenior Analyst IMay 17, 2012

Mark Sanchez and 5 NFL Players Fighting for Their Jobs

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    In the NFL, nothing is guaranteed. You could go from being hero to afterthought in a heartbeat. It is that fast-paced action and quick turn of direction that makes fans tune in and relish news even off the field. 

    Nothing lasts forever in life. 

    That same principle holds true for football. The average career for an NFL player is 3.2 years.

    NFL players have to work incredibly hard in order to prove that they deserve a roster spot. For players who hold starting positions, the burden becomes much more difficult. 

    There are always up-and-coming players who threaten to knock you off your pedestal. It is always a battle to retain your position while proving that you are the right man for the job. 

    What happens when two men are right for the job? Well, then NFL fans get a little treat. 

    Here are five NFL players who are fighting for their jobs heading into training camps. 

Mark Sanchez

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    Being a highly publicized quarterback in New York isn’t easy. 

    Just ask Mark Sanchez

    The USC product has a career quarterback rating of 73.2 while throwing for 9,209 yards and 55 touchdowns. 

    He has led Gang Green to the AFC Championship game in his first two seasons. Last season Sanchez posted career numbers, yet the Jets missed the playoffs altogether. 

    Rex Ryan has now brought in fan-favorite Tim Tebow to compete with Sanchez. Tebow has publicly said that he wants to be the starting quarterback in Manhattan.

    One slip-up by Sanchez, and he could be pouting on the bench. 

    No. 6 better play like No. 1, or he is in risk of losing his job. 

Colt McCoy

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    Colt McCoy never had anyone jump out of their respective seat and scream out of pure joy for the Browns quarterback. 

    But he was a decent starter. 

    In two years he has averaged 10 touchdowns on 2,154.5 yards throwing. "McCoy can only go up from here," experts predicted. 

    That was until James Harrison took him down. The vicious hit saw McCoy sit out the last month of action with a concussion and other injuries. 

    Then the Browns went and drafted Brandon Weeden in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. 

    The 28-year-old is wasting no time in impressing coaches and snatching the starting job away from McCoy. 

Matt Moore

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    The Miami Dolphins desperately want a starting quarterback not named Matt Moore. 

    The front office tried and failed to land one of the greatest quarterbacks in our generation in Peyton Manning

    Record-breaker Matt Flynn bolted to Seattle after Miami tied to woo him, and Alex Smith would rather play in an organization that doesn’t have faith in him than be a Dolphin. 

    South Beach finally was able to get a quarterback in the 2012 NFL draft, nabbing unproven Ryan Tannehill in the top 10. 

    General manager Jeff Ireland said Tannehill looks like he's progressing fast. His knowledge of Mike Sherman's offense will enable him to possibly leapfrog over Moore and get the start. 

    Matt Moore needs to prove to Miami that he can lead them to the playoffs. 

Johnny Knox

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    The Bears have a true No. 1 receiver after they traded for Brandon Marshall to pair with his old quarterback Jay Cutler in order to make magic happen in the Windy City. 

    Now the question happens at the No. 2 receiver position. 

    Johnny Knox is the starter for now. He played in 14 games last year and managed to reel in only 37 receptions for 727 yards and a measly two touchdowns. 

    That will get you replaced in the NFL. 

    Chicago didn’t draft Alshon Jeffery in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft to sit on the bench. 

    Jeffery is 6’4”, 229 pounds and can be a real downfield threat for the Bears. The former Gamecock is an incredible talent and has an amazing work ethic to match. 

    He has a chip on his shoulder and will easily steal the receiving job away from Knox with a vengeance. 

    That is, unless, the disappointing receiver fights for his job. 

Kendall Hunter

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    Frank Gore is the starting running back in San Francisco. Yes, a slew of other talented backs will steal carries here and there, but the proven veteran will not have his job taken away. 

    Kendall Hunter has a different story. 

    The backup performed well for the 49ers this past season, but his production didn’t cut it. The front office was able to pick up two quality athletes in LaMichael James and Brandon Jacobs. These players will slash Hunter’s playing time. 

    James is a talented back who lit up the college football world when he was at Oregon. That explosiveness and speed will serve him well in the NFL. He will work extremely hard to nab the backup position. James can burn defenses like cookies you forgot about in the oven. He is quick, agile and hungry. 

    Jacobs is more of a power back. In 2011, playing for the New York Giants, he put up 571 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. He will prove to be a valuable asset on the West Coast. 

    These two players will divvy up playing time amongst themselves. Hunter has to make sure he isn’t the odd man out.