Blame Rex Ryan, Not Mark Sanchez for Jets' Inept Offense

Peter AlfanoContributor IIOctober 2, 2012

Mark Sanchez has little to work with on offense.
Mark Sanchez has little to work with on offense.Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Be careful what you wish for Jets fans. 

The clamoring has begun for Tim Tebow to replace Mark Sanchez but for all the wrong reasons. Sanchez is a victim of a syndrome called "The Grass is always Greener..." 

Do Jets fans think their counterparts in Dallas are real happy with Tony Romo after his five-interception performance against the Chicago Bears Monday night?

Have they read about the scrutiny that Joe Flacco faces in Baltimore just about every week?

Are they familiar with how Josh Freeman took a step back last season in Tampa Bay and that the Cleveland Browns gave up on Colt McCoy after only one season?

They might have heard that St. Louis had begun wondering about Sam Bradford and that Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars  had that deer-in-the-headlights look all through his rookie season.

They know that Alex Smith was on his way out in San Francisco before Jim Harbaugh arrived and that Phillip Rivers had an off year in 2011.

The honeymoon is over for Cam Newton in Carolina and Jay Cutler drives everybody mad in Chicago.

Close to home, Eli Manning was still being doubted until he won a second Super Bowl.

So you get the picture? Quarterbacks get all the glory but they get most of the blame too.

What the Jets have to decide about Sanchez is how much of their inept offense is his fault and how much is due to one of the worst supporting casts in the NFL.

Let's start with ground and pound. Shonn Greene can't do either. He runs hard but not far or effectively. He is not a feature back. Do you think there is any defense in the NFL that fears Greene breaking off a 60 or 70-yard run? 

The Jets also lack experience and depth at wide receiver. Santonio Holmes, their No. 1 wideout is a head case and now he is lost to injury. The only receiver Sanchez has worked with for all four years of his career is tight end Dustin Keller and Keller has missed almost all season because of a hamstring injury.

Is it any wonder that Sanchez holds on to the football too long waiting for someone, anyone, to come free?

Yes, the California boy has his faults—he telegraphs too many passes and he can be wildly inaccurate. He fumbles way too much.

And if perception is reality, he is making a bad impression by embracing the New York City nightlife a little too much. He should make himself invisible during the season.

But Rex Ryan shoulders much of the blame too. As a head coach he is nothing more than a glorified defensive coordinator. He says he didn't even know how dysfunctional his offense had become last season.

Ryan was defensive coordinator with the Ravens when they won a Super Bowl with journeyman Trent Dilfer at quarterback. He was still with the Ravens when they went deep into the playoffs in Flacco's rookie year. 

Ryan's just doesn't think a quarterback is as important as most of the NFL believes the position is. And he has given Sanchez wide receivers who have had issues on and off the field. They include Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress and Holmes. That is no way for a young quarterback to succeed.

Is it surprising that Burress and Holmes, each of whom caught the winning pass in a Super Bowl, would not respect anyone on the Jets offense, Sanchez and former offensive coordinator Brian Shottenheimer included?  

The sad truth is that the Jets would be better in the short term with Tebow at quarterback because he is unconventional. I can't think of many quarterbacks not named Aaron Rogers or Peyton Manning who would have success with the current Jets offense.

But Tebow is simply a band-aid and someone to pacify the fans. If the Jets don't make the playoffs, then Ryan should be fired, as well as general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Perhaps it is too late for Sanchez to succeed in New York but it would be interesting to see how he would respond to a coach who valued offense and put Sanchez in a better position to succeed.

It would help if that coach could bring a running back and some receivers along with him too.