If you ask New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez about his 2011-2012 season, he would tell you the same thing every other knowledgeable football fan would tell you: Disappointing. One word that sums up the entire season for New York.
Granted, Sanchez didn't have the tools he had in his previous two seasons, whether it was missing Jerricho Cotchery at receiver or the at-times-horrific offensive line play mostly by right tackle Wayne Hunter. It just seemed at times that Sanchez was a little too hesitant in decision-making.
With four playoff wins coming into his third year, these were not the results Jets fans were hoping to see.
Preseason games are just days away and with only one month until the season opener, Mark Sanchez has to show he is the quarterback to lead this franchise going forward. This is the big year for Sanchez—the one all quarterbacks have, to show whether or not they are "franchise quarterbacks." Some flourish at the opportunity, and others crumble.
Over the last few years we have seen glimpses of what Sanchez can be, though this year must be the year he puts it all together. Last season, people were saying that not enough pressure was being put on him. Well, the Jets have put Sanchez to the ultimate test, bringing in sensation Tim Tebow to light a fire, as some would say, under him.
The Jets know they can't have Tebow as their quarterback. They just brought in a new offensive coordinator to build around Sanchez, not to run a college-style offense with an inexperienced pro quarterback. The point of this move was to, first, add the Wildcat element back that they so desperately missed after losing Brad Smith. Secondly, this move was made to do exactly what people were asking them to do: Light that fire under Mark Sanchez and push him.
Ever since this move was made, popular belief has been that once Sanchez struggles, everyone will be calling for Tebow to come in. The fact of the matter is, it won't happen! They are going to live and die with Mark Sanchez as the starter whether Jets fans or like it or not. I truly can't see a situation where Tim Tebow starts for the New York Jets at quarterback, and it would be a huge mistake to do so.
If the Jets want to win, it's all is about how good Mark Sanchez is and whether he can step up and be, not even great, but consistently solid and not make critical mistakes. Year four will show everyone what Mark Sanchez will be going forward.