A Falling Star

Published on 9-Aug-2013 by Towner Park

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Opinion

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A Falling Star

In 2008 at USC, he was considered a deity.

He led the Trojans to a 12-1 record and was as efficient a passer as there was in college football.

His profile skyrocketed. Everyone in the State of California worshipped him, and the rest of the country began to pay close attention to his success.

He had a phenomenal senior season, which traversed into the 2009 draft where the New York Jets selected him with the fifth overall pick.

His name: Mark Sanchez.

This scenario is quite common in the NFL: A player with rave reviews who comes out of college and underachieves so dramatically that his name gets dragged through the mud.

As we all know, this is what has happened to Sanchez. As we can all see, all the prognosticators -- except one -- were completely wrong. He is not a franchise quarterback and never will be. HIs draft status was overvalued, and his sample size wasn't enough to compute a thorough analysis of his skillset. He is limited in so many facets of the game, and it's apparent each and every game he plays.

Who was the one begging to differ at the time?

USC's coach at the time, Pete Carroll. He flat-out said Sanchez wasn't ready. He took grief for it, with the usual response being that this was a case of sour grapes.

Looks like it wasn't.

Now, the entire Jets organization is basically pushing Sanchez out. They signed him to an unworthy contract that they are now starting to regret. After last year's Tim Tebow experiment (or circus, whichever you prefer), Mark Sanchez has been thrust into a quarterback battle with Geno Smith. Everyone in the state of New York (aside from Giant fans) are cheering for the Geno to outplay and overtake Sanchez to claim the starting QB position. Honestly, I think Mark Sanchez is, too. His time is coming to a close in New York, and I think it's better for him to move on.

The Big Apple isn't meant for everyone, and the transition from California to New York hasn't been pleasant for Sanchez. He's had mediocre seasons with a consistent tendency to turn the ball over. His infamous 'butt fumble' will be a viral hit for years.

Sanchez's inability to improve his game is a clear indicator that he's not the QB that everyone thought he was. He has enough talent to be a quality backup, but as far as starting goes ... Mark, you're just not good enough.

In his defense, Sanchez may have been a victim of circumstance. He was thrown into the trenches as a rookie and, granted, had some success with two consecutive AFC Championship appearances. Having said that, the Jets were a running team first and Sanchez was usually limited to safe drop-offs by his coaches.

Despite that short run of success, New York is a tough place to play. Ask any former Giant/Jet QB. You're either praised or condemned. As his regression became even more blatant and his indecisiveness grew, the New Yorkers became disgruntled. The media, the critics, and even his teammates started to bash his play. Unfortunately, I think that seriously affected Sanchez, and he has never really fully been able to recover.

In football, you must have a short-term memory. Mark Sanchez certainly seems to lack that intangible.

Mark, it's time to move on. Collect your guranteed money and get out as soon as possible. The longer you stay, the more the distaste towards you will grow.