The decision to keep Mark Sanchez in the starting lineup while Tim Tebow plays various minor roles has been attributed almost exclusively to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. But based on recent comments by cornerback Antonio Cromartie, it appears that Ryan is not the only one who believes that's the right move.
Mark is our quarterback. At the end of the day, we could give a damn what anybody on the outside has to say. Mark is our quarterback and he's going to continue to be our quarterback. There's not going to be no division, talking about who needs to be our quarterback. Mark is our quarterback and he's our only quarterback.
Cromartie also had some choice words for the fans that continue to call for Tebow, telling them that, "They can kiss my butt."
His comments not only show the support Sanchez has within the locker room, but also a lack of faith in Tebow to turn things around.
Ryan has stood behind Sanchez at every turn, even though the fifth overall pick in 2009 has illustrated very little progress. So it's no surprise he's maintained a firm stance on the quarterback debate. But the players haven't usually been so outspoken.
The team's diehard fanbase has been calling for Tebow for quite some time—something the Jets should have expected after the high-profile trade that brought him to New York after the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning.
It was pretty clear problems would develop from the moment that trade was completed. Putting a popular player like Tebow in a crazy media market like New York behind a shaky starter like Sanchez was bound to get ugly.
Sure enough, that's exactly what has happened. Sanchez has watched his quarterback rating fall to 70.4, which is well below average, and the Jets offense has been a complete mess at times because the running game hasn't been much better.
Sanchez is not the only problem. The offense features a lack of weapons, making his job much more difficult on a weekly basis. But good quarterbacks can overcome that and find a way to win games. He hasn't been able to do that.
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Yet, it's clear his teammates aren't willing to give up on him like many of the fans have. And you have to figure that at least plays some role when Ryan steps in front of the media on a weekly basis and is forced to confirm Sanchez as the starter.
It another sign that the view of Tebow on the inside and on the outside of football circles is completely different. Cromartie's thoughts makes that crystal clear.
Not that it will change the fans' opinion, of course.