When it comes to the public eye, Mark Sanchez just can’t catch a break. He’s criticized for his play on the field, he’s criticized for his comments off of it. The fourth-year Jets quarterback has been ripped by analysts from ESPN to NFL Network, all across the media spectrum.
Heck, even Joe Namath, the most celebrated player in Gang Green lore, has taken veiled shots — and rather routinely, at that.
Sanchez created a buzz by proclaiming “This is my huddle” to reporters following a training camp practice, showing he’s in command of the offense and subtly reminding Tim Tebow there’s only one sheriff in town.
Now he’s picked up another detractor for working too nicely with the much-ballyhooed backup.
On Friday, former Redskins QB Joe Theismann blasted Sanchez during a radio interview, saying the 25-year-old needs to show his “cojones” and take full control of the team.
“This strikes at the heart of Mark Sanchez’s pride,” Theismann said, via ESPNNewYork.com. “He’s going to get booed. He’s going to get thrown under the bus. And I want to see what kind of cojones he’s got. That’s what I’m looking for. … I’m sick and tired of hearing this nice-guy stuff: ‘Oh, Timmy’s a nice guy. Oh, Mark’s a nice (guy).'”
Theismann added that although Tebow will contribute in his own way, there’s only one starting signal-caller, a notion Sanchez must begin to abide by.
“Hey, if I’m Mark Sanchez, ‘I’m the starting quarterback and it’s great to have Tim here to help us win football games.’ That’s the statement. It’s time for somebody to stand up (and) believe in themselves if you’re a Jet. Enough of this nicey two-shoe garbage. Stand up for what you believe in. You’re the starting quarterback. This guy’s not. That’s the way it is. Deal with it.”
Despite an anemic showing this preseason, Sanchez, in his young career, has accumulated a winning record and led the Jets to two AFC Championship contests. Yet he still can’t win. Such is life as an NFL quarterback.
(Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)