This is the year for Mark Sanchez. He has been given a lot of hate along with a lot of praise, and I think 2011 is the year that Sanchez proves his doubters wrong and becomes an elite quarterback in the NFL.
What makes this the season for the young gunslinger? Let's take a look at what gives him the potential to break out.
New York did a lot to surround Sanchez with talent that can help him succeed this season. They were able to keep Santonio Holmes, and with the additions of Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress, the receivers are very talented and formidable.
Mason gives Sanchez a safety valve and is the kind of player that Mark will really benefit from having on the field. Mason played that role in Baltimore and helped Joe Flacco with his maturation, something that he will be able to do for Sanchez in New York.
Plaxico Burress is a great weapon for the Jets in the red zone. This was one of the biggest weaknesses for the Jets last season, and Plax is one of the best players in the end zone because of his size and incredible hands.
The Jets will always be a run-first offense, and this is something that Sanchez can really exploit during 2011.
Because of the plan for the offense to ground and pound the ball, it will make teams load the box and open the field up for Mark Sanchez to exploit.
When safeties have to come down and stop LT and Shonn Green, Sanchez will be more than ready to throw downfield and make big plays during the season.
Sanchez has never been a shy person. Whether he is talking about his game or posing for GQ, Mark Sanchez is never shy about himself or his ability off the field.
He has taken his team deep into the playoffs the last two seasons, and I think that he learned a lot during both of those runs and is willing to take what he learned and put it into effect during the season.
With a new control of the offense and ability to command respect and be a real leader for the offense, look for Sanchez to make big strides in the right direction.
Mark Sanchez will have a lot of opportunities with the aggressive Jets defense on his side. They will look to penetrate and cause a lot of turnovers, which gives Sanchez the ability to put up big numbers with more possessions.
Sanchez also can take more risks with a strong defense. He has the ability to have confidence throwing into tight spaces and long passes knowing that his defense can stop the opposing team and get the ball back even if he makes a mistake.
Mark Sanchez has always been a quarterback that has thrived on his energy and up-tempo attitude, and this is a blessing and a curse.
There have been many times when Sanchez has either let his emotions get too high or too low during the course of a game, and this is hurt his ability to perform.
This season, Sanchez has matured even more and will now have the ability to keep a level head and be a constant competitor whether he is throwing a touchdown or an interception. He will take all the energy that he has and make it into a positive for the team.
With the ability to handle these emotions, he will be a better leader for the team and have more respect from his teammates, coaches and competitors around the league.