Rex Ryan hasn’t made a quarterback change just yet, but if you’re Mark Sanchez the writing is on the wall. While the Jets' head honcho wants to consult with his staff before making a franchise-altering decision, it’s hard to figure that a rattled and dejected Sanchez will have his starting job waiting for him when he returns to practice this week.
“I just want to make sure that I get all of the facts and everything else,” Ryan told reporters on Monday afternoon. “It’s a big decision. Obviously, the decision, I think, has to be made in what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.”
Ironically the New York Jets' trip to central Florida will be a homecoming of sorts for Wildcat specialist Tim Tebow, who missed the last two games due to fractured ribs. With speculation growing that Greg McElroy could replace Sanchez for the remainder of the season, Ryan insists New York’s quarterback competition is a three-horse race.
“I think all three guys, well now have proven they can win in this league, with Greg (McElroy) at the end of the game and obviously, Mark’s (Sanchez history here and the way Tim (Tebow) has played,” indicated Ryan. “So, I’ve got three guys I’m confident in but I’ll make that decision as the week goes on.”
With Jets' fans spewing vitriol in Sanchez’s direction, Ryan tried to put his struggling signal-caller’s situation in perspective.
“Mark Sanchez has won a lot of football games for this franchise, has won some big games for us, has produced a lot of big wins for us and has been a good player for us,” admitted Ryan. ‘Final wake-up call?’ I don’t know about that.”
Ryan has been in Sanchez’s corner through the ups and downs of his four-year playing career, but with the former USC Trojan reaching a new low-point, Gang Green’s head coach recognizes that a change could very well be in order.
“There are a lot of decisions you make as a coach that are tough decisions,” noted Ryan. “A lot of times, they’re easy decisions if you always put the three priorities first: the team, the team and the team. When you do that, the decision is sometimes easier. But as a head coach, there are a lot of tough decisions. You have to take personal feelings outside of it because it’s bigger than just me, this person or that person.”
With a glimmer of playoff hope still lingering for the Jets, New York’s big cheese isn’t conceding anything at late stage of the season.
“We’re a sub-.500 team, so we’re just trying to scratch and claw our way back into it,” mentioned Ryan of a possible playoff run. “Obviously, you want to be playing at the end of the year for an opportunity to get in (the playoffs). It’s hard to get in the playoffs, but you want to fight like crazy to get in there if you can.”