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EA Q&A: Giveaways Forced the QB Change

Posted Dec 19, 2012

Before Greg McElroy makes his first NFL start Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, he will join us on “Jets Talk LIVE” Thursday at 3 PM.

You can write in questions now and we will try to get to as many as possible.  Without further ado, let’s get rolling with our Q&A.

Errol Allen
Charlotte, NC

Q: What is your opinion on the offensive design of the Jets? What do you expect (or hope to see) in 2013?

EA: By today’s NFL standards, the Jets are a run-first offense.  They are ranked 10th in terms of yards per game (121), but they average just 3.9 yards a carry and that is tied for No. 22 overall.  In terms of runs of 20 yards, they have just five and that puts them in a tie at No. 27.

When the Jets have struggled to run, that obviously affects the play-action game.  Injuries to a number of players including the likes of Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill have hampered the passing attack.  Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano likes to employ multi-tight end sets and DK, who established career-highs in receptions (65) and receiving yards (815) in 2011, has already missed six games. 

In a passing league, the Jets have the NFL’s 30th ranked aerial attack (181.1 ypg) and they are 27th in 20 yard plays with 35.  So ultimately there has been a lack of explosive plays because the Jets don’t have a dynamic talent on that side of the ball.   They don’t have an elite quarterback and they also line up without a consistent home run threat.

With that being the case, you can’t turn the ball over and the Jets (33) are only one of three teams with more than 30 giveaways.  Mark Sanchez was charged with 24 of those giveaways and that is why Greg McElroy will make his first NFL start Sunday vs. the Chargers.

I would like to see how McElroy runs this offense for a couple of games and then we can take a closer look at the situation after the season.

Keith
Pittsburgh, PA

Q: I am a big Jets fan living in the Pittsburgh, which does sound strange because I don't like the Steelers.    Lol!   After this season, do see us re-signing Braylon Edwards or will be gone?

EA:  Not a bad start for Edwards back in Green & White as he hauled in three receptions Monday Night for 47 yards.  The veteran receiver, who was claimed off of waivers from Seattle last week, likes the environment here and loves Rex Ryan.  There are only two games remaining in the season and then he is set to be a free agent once again.  It’s too early to say either way, but I do think it is a decent possibility.

Ron T.
Santa Cruz, CA
Q: Tebow is such a superb athlete — forget the quarterback position. How come they don't put him somewhere so he can play the whole game?   Utilize him, it only makes sense. I like your interviews.

EA: Tim Tebow is as competitive as they come and he is disappointed that he isn’t starting this week.  But he is a team player with good character and that is not going to change.  On Wednesday, Coach Ryan admitted that the wildcat hasn’t been as effective as he had envisioned.  Tebow, who ran his first full series as Jets QB against the Titans, still could be used in offensive packages down the stretch.  While he has accepted other roles on this team, Tebow views himself as a quarterback and that is his position. 

Bob
North Attleboro, MA

Q:  As a diehard Jets fan, it is hard to acknowledge that what happened vs. the Titans was exactly what I thought would happen. All the analysts said this was coming. I really believe McElroy might be the Jets version of Tom Brady. I can only hope. It is too bad Rex wasn't willing to make the move sooner — now he and Sparano are goners. It is time to turn the page with Gruden next year?

EA: At the end of the season, Woody Johnson will evaluate his football brass.  He does that each year just like hopefully most bosses.

I don’t think Coach Ryan waited too long to make the switch.  Sanchez has a career mark of 33-28 in the regular season and 4-2 in the postseason.  You give him every opportunity to work through his issues because Sanchez has proven to be resilient at times— he is a player who has produced 10 comeback wins in the 4th quarter or OT. 

The patience route is not easy and it does not win you fans, but it was the right move.  And it is also the right move starting McElroy in Week 16 — Sanchez was hurting the team with the giveaways.  He has nearly twice as many turnovers (24) as TD passes (13) this season.  It was clear late Monday night that a change was necessary and Coach Ryan made it official on Tuesday.

This is an exciting opportunity for McElroy and the Jets. 

Adam
Proctor, VT

Q: After last night's debacle, can we PLEASE put to rest the idea that Sanchez can make it as the legitimate QB for the Jets' future? The interceptions he threw last night had nothing to do with the “lack of talent around him.”

EA: Sanchez obviously had a tough night.  Titans CB Jason McCourty made a good play on the sideline comeback, but the second, third and fourth picks were troubling.  On the second McCourty INT, Sanchez just simply overthrew TE Jeff Cumberland and there was traffic in the area.  Then he liked the one-on-one matchup with Braylon Edwards on the outside, but S Michael Griffin made an easy read for the third interception.  Sanchez made a poor decision on the final INT, pumping to the left and coming back way late in Cumberland’s direction with a multitude of Titans around.    The fumble went to Sanchez, but C Nick Mangold played a role in that because that snap was low.

But we move on to San Diego.  There are still two weeks remaining and the Jets are playing for pride and their jobs.

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If you have a question or comment for Eric Allen, you can drop him a line on Twitter: @eallenjets or email him directly: eajets@newyorkjets.com
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