Why the New York Jets Need to Focus on Improving Mark Sanchez, Not the Wildcat

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIAugust 14, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Tim Tebow #15 and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets warm up before a preseason NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 10, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Monday the New York Jets practiced the Wildcat formation in a practice that was closed to the public and according to the New York Daily News, they put restrictions on what reporters could say about specific packages they used.

The problem for the Jets is that they should be concentrating more on improving starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, rather than working on packages that won't get used more than a few times each game.

Last season Sanchez improved slightly over what he had done in his first two seasons. He completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 3,474 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. His quarterback rating of 78.2 was a career high, but when that's your career best year, things need to improve dramatically. 

Sanchez was given a hefty five-year, $58.25 million contract extension this offseason that guaranteed the 25-year-old $20.5 million. With that kind of investment made in their young quarterback, the Jets should be focused on using practice time to make him better. Spending extended time working on specialty packages and giving Tim Tebow—who is a glorified backup—a bunch of training camp snaps could stunt Sanchez's development. 

As of now, the Jets don't seem to know what they want. They signed Sanchez to a big extension, then traded for Tebow. They've talked endlessly about how Sanchez is their starting quarterback, but we're also hearing how they plan to use Tebow as an integral part of the offense. 

Sanchez may be the team's starting signal-caller, but we all know that the first time he throws an interception everyone will be looking in Tebow's direction. If the Jets take a bad loss, everyone will also start looking towards Tebow. 

The Jets need to put as much time into developing and pushing Sanchez as possible. Even if it's just one day of training camp practices. They have married themselves to the USC product and their future is in his hands.