As the quarterback competition continues on in Denver with some guy named Trevor Siemian possibly poised to take over the team from Peyton Manning (shivers), I figured now was as good of a time as any to pick a side in this glorious battle royale. Mark Sanchez should be the Broncos quarterback this season, since they have everything in place that can make him a solid, if not above average NFL quarterback. Period.
A little background: I LOVED Mark Sanchez when he was with the Jets, especially the first few years. I was ecstatic that we finally had a quarterback that was talented – sorry Kellen Clemens, had a decent arm – sorry Chad Pennington and might be around for more than one year – Brett Favre, I’m looking at you here. His rookie year was filled with some ups and downs, but there were some really high moments that made us think that he could be the long awaited face of the franchise, our “Sanchize.”
That was cool. And the second year he seemed to get even better. He played well enough to beat the Patriots in the divisional round and somehow overcame a godawful game plan (seriously, run LaDainian Tomlinson into the line 4 straight plays. Seriously.) to pull the Jets back into the Steelers game after they were down 21-0 in the blink of an eye.
Obviously, everyone knows what happens next. In his third year, he took a few steps back. In his fourth year, the franchise began to turn on him, letting key pieces around him leave, before they decided to bring in Tim Tebow and ruin his career as a Jet forever. Mixed in there is the Butt Fumble which still haunts my nightmares, two shoulder surgeries, knee issues and a whole lot of hope that disappeared.
So that brings us to his last two years, which he spent as a backup/semi-starter in Philadelphia, before he, at the ripe old age of 29, has a chance to resurrect his career in Denver. And he should be allowed to.
For starters, the Jets’ game plan the first two years with him was to have an exceptional defense, talented wide receivers and a solid running game.
Denver has arguably the best defense in the NFL, probably the consensus top defense overall. Sanchez has his choice of Demaryius Thomas (hello big target) and Emmanuel Sanders as his top receiving options. Oh and he also has two solid running backs behind him in C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.
And let’s not forget this is the team that won the Super Bowl. They lost a few helpful pieces, but the core remains intact. Let’s also not forget that Peyton Manning last year – granted he missed time due to injury included nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Sanchez, when healthy has the talent to be a successful NFL quarterback. Here’s a more recent example from last week:
Also in that game, was a disastrous interception – classic Sanchez. He’s very good at shooting himself in the foot, which is why Siemian is still clinging around.
Plus, he also seems like a pretty decent guy off the field and that can’t hurt his chances with the team or the city.
Still, Denver be warned – he will make stupid plays. He will throw interceptions that will make all Broncos fans throw their hands up in the air and ask God why he cursed them with this quarterback play. He will probably make John Elway get a few more grey hairs.
But he will also make great plays. Gary Kubiak, a former quarterback, is the kind of offensive-minded coach that Sanchez never had with the Jets. He can shine and he can gut out performances. He can win gritty, close meaningful games. That’s exactly what the Broncos need.
Here’s to second chances and Mark, I want you to get the starting job and then take the opportunity and run with it. Just try not to run into your offensive linemen again…