Mark Sanchez: Why People Need to Back off the Young Jets Quarterback

Jonathan MaurerCorrespondent IINovember 17, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets runs offsides the field after being defeated by the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 37-16.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

I've always thought that the quarterback was the most overrated position in football. People always want to put wins and losses on a quarterback, and they often judge quarterbacks by how they play in the fourth quarter, not by how they perform in the other three. We seem to forget that football isn't about one guy, it's about a team.  

I believe that teams should let a quarterback develop for two, three and possibly four years. Young quarterbacks need to be able to sit and watch, but once a coach has thrown the quarterback into the fire, he needs to stick with him no matter what.  

Mark Sanchez has been getting ripped for his performance against the Patriots, and rightfully so. But people are saying that Sanchez might not be the right quarterback for the Jets.

I'm pretty sure that not many know this, but Sanchez has actually improved. His career high in touchdowns was 17, and he already has 14 this season. His career high in completion percentage was 54.8 and now stands at 56.7. 

Yes, I know it's not that big of an improvement, but the point is he's improving

We are talking about Sanchez's struggles, but nobody is talking about the struggles of Josh Freeman. Freeman has nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and his team has a record of 4-5, while the Jets are 5-4. Wins and losses are what it's about, right? Or are you just going to change your argument, since I am bringing that up? 

Does anybody remember the first three years of Eli Manning's career? In his first year he had a completion percentage of 48.2, 1,043 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. His second year he had a 52.8 completion percentage, 3,762 yards, 24 touchdowns and 17 picks. In his third year, he completed 57.7 percent of his passes, along with 3,244 yards, 24 touchdowns and 18 picks.   

And he didn't get that much better in his fourth season, either. Eli had been criticized by a lot of people for his inconsistencies, and a lot of people questioned if he was really the right guy to lead the Giants. We all, of course, know what happened in his fifth year, when he won the Super Bowl. Even then the critics didn't go away. 

But look at Eli now. People are starting to call him an elite quarterback, and he is in his eighth season.

So Mark Sanchez hasn't been great. It's going to take time for him to get to that point. Eli has been very fortunate to be in New York right now with the criticism that he faced.

If Jets fans and the media can be patient with Mark Sanchez, it will most likely be beneficial in the long run.