Last year was supposed to be the year Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez took significant steps forward in his development.
It was Sanchez’s third year and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had reconstructed the offense to be more pass happy. Instead of success, an 8-8 record and plebian improvement followed as the Jets failed to make the playoffs and Schottenheimer was eventually shown the door.
Now in his fourth year, the expectation is that Sanchez will see improvement in the same year that the Jets’ crosstown rival quarterback, Giants signal caller Eli Manning, won a Super Bowl.
“That fourth year he threw one pick in the playoffs when they won that Super Bowl and I think he threw 20 during the regular season. I’ve been there; plenty of quarterbacks have been there. You see the margin for error in this league is so small,” Sanchez said about Manning.
“Once the quarterback, the offense and the coordinator really realize that and take advantage of that and show that on the field you can win a lot of games and have success on the field.”
The Jets might be putting Sanchez in a better position to succeed this year, but it has everything to do with taking the ball out of his hands and again focusing on the ground game. With new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano in place, it would seem that the pressure is off Sanchez to be the star of the offense and its chief playmaker.
Sanchez can look back to his development and see where he came from and where he is going. And where he needs to get better so that he can be like Manning.
“I think it takes time. It takes a confidence level and that only happens with more and more reps. As guys mature and get a little older and more familiar with the defenses they see they start feeling better and suddenly become more accurate,” Sanchez said. “A lot of them who had early success may might have sat for a couple years and watched somebody doing it for two, three years then [they] take the league by storm.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for more news from training camp in Cortland.