It may seem like ages ago, but once upon a time, Mark Sanchez was a respected starting quarterback in the NFL.
Long before the name Mark Sanchez evoked thoughts of butt fumbles, he was viewed as a promising young quarterback who took the Jets to two AFC championship games in his first two years.
Then, after the 2011 season, Sanchez started to struggle. Turnovers became more frequent and touchdown passes much less so. The Jets even let go of offense coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in hopes of finding a new coordinator to help Sanchez regain his early career form. It didn’t work. Fast-forward two seasons, and Sanchez is now the backup quarterback in Philadelphia.
Why is any of this relevant right now? Because the Rams are in desperate need of a quarterback after Sam Bradford’s porcelain knee gave out on him again. Though coach Jeff Fisher says the Rams will rally behind journeyman backup Shaun Hill, many in the league expect the Rams to trade for a quarterback in the coming days.
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Sanchez’s name is at the heart of the rumor mill for two reasons. First, he’s had a great preseason. Second: Brian Schottenheimer.
Schottenheimer is now the Rams offensive coordinator, and people think Sanchez’s familiarity with the coach makes him an ideal candidate to plug in this close to the start of the season. There’s only one problem: Sanchez wants nothing to do with St. Louis.
USA Today sports writer Tom Pelissero spoke yesterday with someone close to Sanchez. That source says that, if it were up to Sanchez, there’s “no chance” he’d go to St. Louis for the starting job.
It’s not hard to see why, either. Sanchez has a chance to reinvent his career under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. He’s already looked more confident this preseason than he has in years.
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In St. Louis, Sanchez would be thrust into a starting role with a team and players he has no familiarity with while playing for a coordinator he has an uneven past with. You know what that would result in? All the pick-6’s and butt fumbles you could dream of.
Here’s to hoping you stay in Philadelphia, Mark.