NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – What, Mark Sanchez worry?
He’s heard the calls for backup quarterback Tim Tebow. Who hasn’t? But Sanchez is as confident as ever that he’ll remain the Jets’ starter.
“I don’t feel threatened to lose my job at all,” Sanchez said on Thursday. “It’s no different, whether it’s Tim or Mark (Brunell) or Kellen (Clemens). It doesn’t change. I’m really not worried at all.”
Perhaps he should be. Tebow’s legion of die-hard fans won’t need much convincing, but his detractors may soon be reluctantly converted if Sanchez continues to stockpile incompletions.
After a red-hot start against Buffalo, Sanchez’s stats have taken a nosedive. He’s connected on less than 50 percent of his passes in three straight games, and his passer rating hit a season-low 39.9 in Sunday’s blowout loss to San Francisco.
And now the Jets, already thin on targets, have lost top wide receiver Santonio Holmes for the season.
“Nobody expects it to work, nobody expects it to go right, nobody expects us to win. That’s fine. It’s fine,” said Sanchez. “I’ve been in situations like that before. I’m confident I can handle it and there’s only one way in my mind to go about it — and that’s really to attack it.”
One thing’s for sure: Sanchez has the support of head coach Rex Ryan, who reaffirmed — yes, again — that No. 6 will remain No. 1.
“Mark’s been fairly successful here, and I’ve said this since Day 1: ‘Give me the quarterback that wins,’” said Ryan. “I think Mark is an excellent quarterback.”
And according to Newsday, there’s a “resolute feeling inside the Jets’ locker room that Sanchez should — must, really — remain the starter.”
“Mark knows that he’s got the support of the other 52 guys in the room, plus the coaching staff,” guard Matt Slauson said, according to the paper. “He’s our best chance to win, and we really believe in him. … I like Tim and he’s a hell of a player, but Mark is our quarterback. No. 6 is our guy.”
Ryan said the team’s inconsistent play — some would say they’ve been downright poor since Week 2 — isn’t all on Sanchez.
“The receivers have to get open and Sanchez, I think, is accurate enough to put the ball where he needs to,” he said. “And if that means elevating our play, than I think we can do that. I think it’s on everybody, though.”
The “Te-bow!” chants will only grow louder if Sanchez can’t figure out a way to right the ship.
It’s a tall task with the undefeated Houston Texans on tap Monday night.
“You’ve got to have that thick skin because not everybody’s going to write beautiful things about you,” Ryan said. “If you have a poor game, it’s going to be right there in front. … I think it takes a special guy to be a quarterback in this market, and I think Mark has that.”
Should Sanchez be worried? Be heard in the comments below!