As the NY Jets (6-8) and their fans face the obvious truth heading into this week’s game, leave it to head coach Rex Ryan to make matters worse. All season long I (and a long list of other people) have been complaining about Mark Sanchez. I have said again and again that he is not the man to lead the team, but it took Rex until the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention to remove Sanchez as the starter. You have to give Rex credit; when he makes a bad decision, he really stands by it, even to the detriment of his team.
What we have had all season long is a case of a lack of leadership. This starts at the top with Rex, trickles down to offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, and then becomes apparent when looking at the choices for quarterback. Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Greg McElroy are the Three Stooges of football, a totally disappointing threesome who are sure not to get the job done. In fact, Moe, Larry, and Curly probably would have finished painting a room faster than the Jets could get the ball down the field.
As Ryan’s façade of confidence started showing cracks this year, he was more like the old Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain. He could still muster some bravado here and there, but it was mostly hot air. Now, even when asked why he chooses McElroy to start this week while benching Sanchez, Ryan cannot put it into words. His old verbosity has left him, and now he simply says that he made his choice because “that’s what’s best for our team.” No explanation. No reasons why he is passing over Tebow. Sanchez is benched and McElroy is starting, and Jets fans are grimly facing oblivion.
The good news is that we followers of Gang Green have only two weeks left to suffer. What transpires on the field this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers (5-9) matters little, except if it is some window into the future plans of the team; however, one must be highly doubtful that McElroy will be a long-term solution to the Jets’ quarterback blues.
It is clear that the Jets must part ways with Sanchez, whose game Monday night against Titans (5-9) was a microcosm of another lost year. Sanchez had five turnovers (a league leading 50 for the season), and proved beyond question that he is not capable of being even a moderately successful starting quarterback, no less one of the elite in the game the way Ryan used to portray him.
The Jets have had bad luck this season. Losing Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes set the stage for disaster early on, but there is nothing that takes away the heft of responsibility that is on Rex Ryan’s shoulders. Besides Sanchez, he is the other party that must be shown the door once the season is over. We have learned much to our chagrin that his game plan isn’t much of a plan at all, as has been painfully obvious this season.
At a press conference on Tuesday Ryan said, “The end result is we are 6-8 and I know I’m accountable for that.” Truer words have never been spoken by Ryan in his three years with the team, and they may be an indication that even he knows his days are numbered as Jets head coach.
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