Jets, Sanchez, Ryan – Wrong mix for NFL QB development?

The New York Jets 2012 season came to a head Monday Night when starting QB Mark Sanchez threw 4 interceptions in a 14-10 loss to Tennessee.  The Jets were eliminated from playoff contention and Rex Ryan subsequently named Greg McElroy as the starter this week for the final home game versus San Diego.  With backup QB Tim Tebow healed from a rib injury, many questioned why Ryan bypassed the popular but controversial Tebow in favor of McElroy.

Cloudy picture

It remains unclear whether Ryan and or Sanchez will return for the 2013.  Sanchez has struggled all season ranking 33rd in QB rating, 32nd in completion %, tied for 2nd in Interceptions (3rd INT %), 25th in TD passes (29th TD %), 24th in total passing yards, tied for 7th in sacks, and so it goes. . .

Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum built the Jets on the premise of a dominant running game and strong defense.  The hope was Sanchez would continue to develop while being propped up by this support system.  But Sanchez is regressing, along with a running game & defense that haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain.

Rules of thumb

Sanchez violated the 36/60 rule when he was drafted 5th overall in 2009.  His college career as a starter was really only one season (2008) and he played in just 21 games over two seasons for the Trojans.  Yet Sanchez has started all but one game in his NFL career (61/61), reaching the 56 over 5 measure for avoiding a bust.  Still that’s the description being thrown around.

Many QB’s have come out of college ballyhooed and predicted to take the League by storm.  I wanted to see if I could find ANYTHING supporting a rookie starter needing patience and a strong support system (both players & coaches) already in place.

Failure & Success

The following two tables are by no means scientific.  I went back to ’92 and extracted highly rated QB’s that failed to reach 56/5, then some that went on to have successful 5+ seasons as starters.  The head coach & offensive coordinator that drafted them, along with the number of years that head coach was ranked in the Top 10 in passing attempts & passing yards prior to drafting the QB (either as HC or as an OC) are included.  Asterisk denotes “rookie head coach”, D denotes “defensive background”.  In the case where a rookie defensive minded head coach (*D) drafted the player, I went to the offensive coordinator’s past experience.

Throw out physical attributes, college offenses, character issues and other contributing factors to the overall picture, and what do you see and or deduce about QB development from these head coaches?

Year Draft QB HC OC Att Yards
1999 1/1 CLV Tim Couch Chris Palmer* 0/2 1/2
2002 1/1 HOU David Carr Dom Capers D Chris Palmer 0/4 0/4
2007 1/1 OAK Jamarcus Russell Lane Kiffin* Greg Knapp Knapp 1/6 Knapp 1/6
1998 1/2 SD Ryan Leaf Kevin Gilbride June Jones, Mike Sheppard 6/8 5/8
1994 1/3 WAS Heath Shuler Norv Turner* Cam Cameron* 0/3 3/3
1999 1/3 CIN Akili Smith Bruce Coslet 2/13 4/13
2002 1/3 DET Joey Harrington Marty Mornhinweg 4/5 3/5
1992 1/6 CIN David Klingler David Shula*
1999 1/12 CHI Cade McNown Dick Juaron*D Gary Crowton*
2007 1/22 CLV Brady Quinn Romeo Crennell D Rob Chudzinski 0/2 0/2
1997 1/26 SF Jim Druckenmiller Steve Mariucci* Marty Mornhinweg*
2001 2/53 DAL Quincy Carter Dave Campo D Jack Reilly 0/1 0/1
1992 2/46 PHX Tony Sacca Joe Bugel 1/4 2/4
2009 1/5 NYJ Mark Sanchez Rex Ryan*D Brian Schottenheimer Schott… 0/3 Schott… 0/3
Year Draft QB HC OC Att Yards
1998 1/1 IND Peyton Manning Jim Mora 1/12 3/12
1993 1/1 NE Drew Bledsoe Bill Parcells Ray Perkins 2/8 5/8
1999 1/2 PHI Donovan McNabb Andy Reid* Rod Dowhower 3/6 5/6
1995 1/5 CAR Kerry Collins Dom Capers*D Joe Pendry Pendry 0/5 Pendry 1/5
2001 2/32 SD Drew Brees Mike Riley Norv Turner 2/2 0/2
1995 1/3 HOU Steve McNair Jeff Fisher D 1/1 0/1
1997 2/42 ARI Jake Plummer Vince Tobin D 1/1 1/1
2004 1/11 PIT Ben Roethlisberger Bill Cowher Ken Whisenhunt 3/15 3/15
2004 1/1 SD Eli Manning Tom Coughlin 1/8 3/8
2003 1/1 CIN Carson Palmer Marvin Lewis*D  Bob Bratkowski Bratkowski 3/6 Bratkowski 1/6
2005 1/1 SF Alex Smith Mike Nolan*D Mike McCarthy McCarthy 3/5 McCarthy 2/5
2001 1/1 ATL Michael Vick Dan Reeves George Sefcik 9/23 9/23

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