He is a quarterback on the field and a leader in the locker room for the New York Jets. With the unified support of all of his teammates and coaches, he is the only man capable of leading the Jets to wins this season.
You, of course, know of whom I am talking. Tim Tebow?
No, Mark Sanchez.
After a disappointing loss to the formerly last-place Miami Dolphins, the Jets locker room has rallied tightly around Sanchez. What's the main theme?
Emphasizing how fictional the media-invented quarterback controversy is.
Jets center and veteran leader Nick Mangold said of the situation (via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News):
It’s difficult, especially when you’re dealing with an offense that hasn’t been doing much at any position—offensive line, running back, wide receiver, tight end. You can't just plug somebody in and all of a sudden it’s going to be a magic formula and everything’s going to be right. We got to correct all the issues that we have throughout the whole offense. ... It’s tough because I was here for the Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens and that whole business. It kind of comes with the territory. New York fans are very passionate and expect the best.
Wide receiver Chaz Schilens also commented (via CBS Local), "That chanting is just B.S. Mark’s the quarterback. I think the fans are out of place."
Star nose tackle and defensive anchor Sione Pouha added (also via CBS Local), "I believe in Mark just as much as he believes in me being a nose tackle."
Head coach Rex Ryan added—using words we have heard repeatedly this year—"Mark’s our guy. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. I’m confident in Mark."
To add to the solidarity, tight end Dustin Keller came out in support of Sanchez (via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com):
I feel like at times people weren't standing behind Mark. He's going to get this thing turned around. He knows that we, his teammates, have his back. Hell, we believe in him and we will get this turned around.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie—who has criticized the offense as a whole in the past—threw in his own words of support (also via Rich Cimini), "I believe in Mark, I believe in the guys we have."
What can we make of such a unified and outspoken showing of support for Sanchez, a man whose head has been called for by more than a few pundits around the country?
It does not necessarily mean that the Jets will suddenly start dominating. It will take more than good play from Sanchez for that to happen. Sanchez threw for 283 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, and the special teams did more than enough to hand away that game on a silver platter.
What it does demonstrate is that the Jets remain a united locker room. The claims that Tebow has any chance of playing quarterback this season are such fiction it borders on laughable.
Root for Sanchez, root against him, be optimistic or pessimistic. That is a personal choice. Either way, he is going to be the guy on the field for the rest of this year. Tebow knows it and has accepted it. Perhaps his fans should as well.