Over the course of the last six months, there hasn't been a team that has sparked my interest as much as the New York Jets. In my opinion, the Jets have by far the most complete team in the NFL. From the additions of former Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie, two stellar 2010 draft picks Kyle Wilson & Joe McKnight, and the risky addition of split end Santonio Holmes, the Jets are going all out to win a title right now. I love it. All the rage in NFL circles is awaiting with baited breath for the return of Hard Knocks on HBO. Rex Ryan will probably put on a show and make us appreciate these Jets even more.
However, at the end of the day this engine doesn't run without #6 pushing all the right buttons; you know him as Mark Sanchez. I'll admit that I've always thought highly of Sanchez since his USC days (eff USC). He has all the characteristics you want in a franchise quarterback: size, arm strength, pocket presence, and even charisma. Yet, we've somehow forgotten that this man is just 23 years old and in just his second season. Is he headed for the inevitable sophomore slump, or can he take Gang Green to the promised land?
Like we pointed out earlier, the additions to the Jets offense in the last year have been downright absurd. In the last year, they've assembled a receiving core of Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery (who I strongly believe will be the next Derrick Mason, consistently good but no one gives him any credit), Brad Smith, and Dustin Keller at tight end. Plus, they've got a running back core of Shonn Greene, L.T., and Joe McKnight, this offensive unit is what I like to affectionately call, "The Team I'm Running With In Madden 2011."
So Sanchez should have no excuses right? Lest we forget that this is the same offensive unit that finish second-to-last in passing! I read a stat that said the Jets pass to run ratio was the tenth-lowest since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978! The old men in my life told me, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make the horse drink."
Here's the deal though: I want Sanchez to succeed. Hell, the fact that he's the only Hispanic dude doing the damn thing in the league is enough. Plus he plays quarterback? He's gotta do it. Who in the hell else do we got? I mean, Tony Gonzalez is like 57 years old now and I'm still amazed he's doing work in Atlanta, but I digress. Let me get off of my Puerto-Rican soapbox...
We need the Jets to do well, just for the sheer entertainment of it all. For the milquetoast personality of the Colts, for the 7/11-esqueness of the Chargers (never came close), and the business-like tendencies of the Patriots, the Jets just got that it about them. It starts with Sanchez. It ends with Sanchez.
Training camp starts next week...you ready?
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!