Can a two-quarterback system work in the NFL?
First of all, he's right: a two-quarterback system has never worked in the NFL.
But more importantly, while the headlines have focused on Holmes' lack of confidence in the two-quarterback system, they have largely ignored perhaps the bigger story: Holmes' renewed (or perhaps merely restated) confidence in quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez has done everything that he can do to keep his starting spot, and I’m thinking that he’s going to be our guy this season. I’m not saying that with any bit of less confidence than the way I feel about him coming into the season. He’s going to be our guy that we depended on for the past couple of years, and he’s going to get the job done this year.
That's a long way to come from last season, when there was a bit of discord between Holmes and Sanchez at the end of the season in regards to Sanchez's inability to get Holmes the ball.
The Jets would probably have liked for Holmes to show a bit more support for the two-quarterback system, but showing confidence in the starting quarterback is an important first step in repairing the discord that so many people—teammates, media et al.—had labeled as a big distraction and a problem that needed to be addressed headed into the 2012 season.
Sanchez struggled to end the 2011 season, turning the ball over three times in each of the team's final three games and turning the ball over more times than any other quarterback in the NFL.
His inconsistent accuracy was another issue with which Holmes had contention. With all that said, a lack of confidence on Holmes' part may not have come as much of a surprise.
The media's tune hasn't changed much since the end of the season, so why should Holmes change his tune?
Perhaps a productive Jets West camp had something to do with it. Perhaps Holmes did some soul-searching. Either way, the Jets offense will only function at maximum potential if Holmes and Sanchez are on the same page.
Just as important as Holmes' confidence in Sanchez now is his confidence in Sanchez throughout the season.
Elaborating on the two-quarterback system, Holmes had this to say:
[You] have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of the game. It starts from the preparation in practice, knowing the first couple of plays that he’s going to take these reps. It’s getting a feel for coming onto the field with the crowd awaiting you. It’s the making the mistakes early in the game, to finishing the games at the end. You don’t just change a guy out just because he has a few mistakes early in a game.
Holmes must remain supportive of Sanchez even when he struggles, regardless of whether he's getting the ball. Holmes acknowledged that he was disappointed when, after seven games in 2011, he had just 22 receptions (3.1 catches per game).
He is a playmaker, and needs to get the ball more often than that, but taking it out on his quarterback isn't going to help the matter.
His patience may be tested, as the Jets face a grueling early schedule that consists of many of 2011's best pass defenses, including a Week 1 showdown against a much-improved (on paper) Bills defense.
Holmes may not be saying all the right things right now, but he's saying some of them; regardless, the real test will be whether his actions during the season are in lockstep with his words in the offseason.
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