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EA Q&A: How Will Sanchez Respond?

Posted Dec 6, 2012

Mark Sanchez has had a turbulent week.  But after being benched Sunday and waiting out Rex Ryan’s decision, No. 6 will once again get the call in Jacksonville.

“Now it’s my job to go make him right,” said Sanchez of Ryan.  “Not just him, but the rest of the guys in the locker room and to go and compete my butt off and play like I know how — to protect the football.”

If he can’t, he will no longer have job protection.

Dustin
Milwaukee, WI

Wow, I didn't think the Jets dumb decision making could break me but it did.   After 17 years of cheering for the Jets — I’m done. Mark Sanchez — you ruined my Sundays forever. I will not watch football anymore.   I'm too loyal to switch teams, so I just can't watch anymore. I guess it’s good news for you Eric.   You will never have to hear from me again. I wish you the best in all your endeavors.   Good luck.

EA: Thanks for your participation in the blog Dustin.  I hope your retirement isn’t a permanent one.

I have often wondered what my fall Sundays would be without football.  

I grew up in Orchard Park, NY — three miles away from the Bills home of Ralph Wilson Stadium.  Buffalo is a blue-collar community and Bills fans identify themselves with their football team.  My father, a history teacher in the Frontier Central School district, started to bring me to games close to three decades ago.  We would attend a game or two a year and seat in the end zone because those were the most affordable tickets.

There are just minor recollections of good Bills teams in 1980 & 1981 as Chuck Knox was the Bills head coach and former Bills RB coach Chick Harris lived down our street.   But there were some lean years once Knox departed for Seattle and before Marv Levy took over on Nov. 9, 1986.  I was there for Levy’s head coaching debut as the Bills beat the Steelers 16-12 in the wind.  We sat in the top row that afternoon and I literally thought I might not live to see my 11th birthday.  But I hung on and the Bills eventually went on a great historical run that included four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl.

Jim Kelly was the quarterback of my youth.  Who wouldn’t like a quarterback with the nickname “Machine Gun” and a Western PA kid who was recruited to play LB at Penn State?  But I still loved my boyhood team when Joe Dufek and Bruce Matthison were starting.

In the summer of 2001, I became a Jet.  Make no mistake — I want this team to win, but I am no fan.  My job is to bring you closer to the team and things are much better for all of us if they win.  Nobody anticipated 5-7 after 12 games and it’s not fun for the people inside the building as well as the people who support the club after any defeat.

Many members of Jets Nation are irate that Mark Sanchez will start SUN in Jacksonville.  Quarterback is the most important position in football and there are a lot of folks who believe Sanchez should be done here.  But I don’t quite understand the vitriol about this decision that would make anyone stop being a fan of this club.

Frustration is one thing and criticism is warranted.  But I’d like to think if you are a Jets fan — you are always a fan and you want the best for your ball club. 

I liked the spark that Greg McElroy provided, but I think Rex might the right call.  Sanchez is the most athletically gifted passer on this club and we should see how he responds to the first benching of his career.

Iago Batista
São Paulo, Brazil
Q:
When is Tim Tebow going to be able to play again?

EA: Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville, will travel with the Jets to Florida on Saturday.  He has done more at practice this week, but his most recent X-rays still reveal rib fractures.  On Thursday Rex Ryan said, “I’m still not ready to say I’m comfortable him (playing) right now.”

At this point, it’s probably more likely he will sit for a second consecutive week of action.

David
Haifa, Israel
The Jaguars are not a threatening defense. Whoever will play QB for the Jets in Week 14 will be a game manager as the Jets will Ground & Pound until the Jags can stop the run.

The real test will come playing against the Chargers in W16. The Jets will need some offense to keep pace with QB Rivers.

EA:  I also believe the Jets are going to pound away at a Jaguars defense yielding 144 yards per game on the ground.  Last week, the Bills posted a 232-yard ground total in a win over the Jags. 

Meanwhile the Jets have found their groove rushing the football.  They had 43 rush attempts in the Week 13 win over Zona, averaging 4.1 yards a clip.  Despite the rout against the Pats on Thanksgiving, they averaged 4.1 yards a rush and totaled 119 yards.  But the real turn seemed to came when Bilal Powell got healthy in Week 11 and the Green & White had 41 rush attempts against the Rams.  Their 124-yards weren’t gaudy, but it was the commitment to the run that was important.  The Jets have a good looking combo at running back right now.

We will get to the Chargers in due time, but I disagree with your assessment on Rivers and company.  This isn’t 2009 — that team is struggling mightily on offense.

OneJetAtATime.com
New Brunswick, NJ

Q: RB Bilal Powell has really started to come along in his development. Do you see him overtaking RB Shonn Greene for the majority of the workload?

EA: Powell is the most complete back on the Jets roster.  He is solid in every area — running the ball, catching it out of the backfield and blocking for the quarterback.  Over the past three games, Powell has appeared in 97 offensive snaps and Greene has been in 94 plays.

Powell started against the Cardinals and he has 35 rush attempts over the past three games.  He is getting the ball more and more and those 35 carries account for 42% of his career rushes.

But I wouldn’t say he is overtaking Greene — they might have just become co No.1s for the rest of the season.  Greene got 24 carries against the Cards and helped wear that ‘Zona defense down the stretch in Week 13, registering his second 100-yard game of the season.  This is a rotation system, so don't get caught up in who the "starter" is.  The Jets will head into a very intriguing offseason because Greene is in the final year of his contract. 

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