Mark Sanchez is a player who always has a ton of debate and argument centered around him.
Some people love him (mostly New York Jets fans), while others despise him with a passion (pretty much everybody else), but one thing that cannot be questioned is that Sanchez needs to step up his individual performance if his team is going to finally get over the hump and reach the Super Bowl next season.
The third year in the league is when most quarterbacks either continue to improve or hit the wall and flame out.
At this point, I see the first scenario when it comes to Sanchez.
Sanchez has the arm strength to make all the throws and has mobility in the pocket that most quarterbacks in the league would love to have.
He already knows how to win and has incredible confidence and moxie for such a young signal-caller in the league. Surprisingly, he also has already gained the respect of a veteran locker room and is a very hard worker.
He has all of the talent and the intangibles when it comes to being an NFL quarterback, we just haven’t seen him put it all together.
For stretches, Sanchez has shown he has the skills to be a star in the league; at other times, though, he looks like he should be holding a clipboard on the sidelines watching the game.
It’s pretty simple what Sanchez needs to work on: throwing the ball and reading opponent’s defenses.
Even though Sanchez improved this season in being able to read defenses and throw to the open guy, it is still an area of his game that he struggles with at times. Remember, this is a guy who has more career interceptions than touchdown passes in his first two seasons.
When he has all the time in the world, he can sit back there and make the read and deliver a strike to the open guy. Too many times teams blitz Sanchez though, and he becomes uncomfortable in the pocket, forcing throws or just making bad reads.
His accuracy is also something that he struggles with and that greatly needs to improve. He has to be able to hit the open guy when it is given to him, especially on deep balls.
Sanchez needs to continue working on his arm accuracy while also learning how to spread the field more.
Sanchez is a young quarterback who is continuing to improve his game. He has all the skill sets to become a very good quarterback in the NFL, but this is a make or break year for Sanchez and his development.
He has extraordinary talent at the positions around him and there is no excuse not to continue to get better next season.
If he wants to keep getting all the attention and praise, he needs to work hard to become the best quarterback he can be.
Right now, he is not capable of taking over games by himself and, statistically, is just an average quarterback in the league.
With just a little more time, Sanchez could develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL or go the other way and even find himself looking for a new job after another pedestrian season in 2011-12.
There should be a huge ceiling for Sanchez and his progress to become a top NFL quarterback. We just need to make sure he hasn’t reached that ceiling already so early in his career.
With Super Bowl dreams dancing around in the heads of fans, Sanchez has all the pressure on his shoulders.
Will he crack or does he have the toughness to make it through and turn into a better player?
Only time will tell.