NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Delivered by Jets coach Rex Ryan, it was the qualifier heard ’round the Tri-State area on Wednesday: “I’m telling you right now, he’s our starting quarterback this week.”
Ryan was speaking of Mark Sanchez, Gang Green’s franchise quarterback, who has enjoyed steadfast support from the coach despite a third-year regression and growing calls for backup Tim Tebow.
While the media and fans had a field day with Ryan’s remark, Sanchez insisted it was nothing to sweat over.
“He has faith in me. I believe that,” Sanchez said. “I’m not worried about that. I’m really not.”
Ryan got a little testy when asked what he meant by “this week.”
“What do you want me to say? He’s our starter,” said Ryan. “He’s our starter this week. He’s our starter.”
After a 2-3 start featuring inconsistent play from Sanchez, it seems the team could be preparing to hand the ball to their backup. As if New York’s plans weren’t muddled enough, according to owner Woody Johnson, the ever-looming presence of Tebow will remain through the 2014 season.
Earlier on Wednesday, Johnson told CNBC that the Jets would “absolutely” have Tebow around for the remainder of his contract.
“It’s part of the territory,” Sanchez said. “It’s part of the way things go. When you’re winning, it’s easy, it’s great, it’s fun. And when you go through some tough times, you have to find a way to dig yourself out and use the best shovel possible.”
The Jets will face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon. It could be the final straw for Sanchez, who needs to improve on his 66.6 passer rating to ease the antsy crowd at MetLife Stadium.
There’s been some chatter among fans about a potential solution: Tebow and another running back — Joe McKnight, perhaps — lined up behind Sanchez in the backfield.
“I think there are definitely parts of that that can be effective, with both of us on the field,” said Tebow. “I think we have shown that a few times this year and had some pretty effective plays, but it is something that can work.”
Meanwhile, Sanchez will keep doing this thick-skinned thing.
“I stick around the building, put blinders on, put some earplugs in and keep playing,” he said.
Should it be Tebow time if Sanchez falters against Indy? Make your case in the comments below…