Jets players claim Sanchez 'coddled, lazy'

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez watches from the bench in the fourth quarter play against...

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez watches from the bench in the fourth quarter play against the Miami Dolphins during their NFL football game in Miami, Florida, January 1, 2012. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 3:12 PM ET

The fallout from the Jets’ meltdown that caused them to miss the playoffs continued with players questioning quarterback Mark Sanchez’s work ethic and his ability to lead the team on and off the field.

“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” an unnamed Jets player told the New York Daily News. “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.”

While Sanchez believes he has continued to improve as a player, that view wasn’t shared by the players who spoke to the Daily News. And general manager Mike Tannenbaum acknowledged last week that the third-year quarterback’s “rate of growth isn’t where it needs to be.”

The Jets reached the AFC Championship Game in each of Sanchez’s first two seasons. But the 2011 season was marked by inconsistent play from Sanchez, skill players complaining about the play-calling and ultimately offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach Bill Callahan leaving the team this week.

The Daily News asked multiple players and people within the organization if the Jets should make a move to acquire Peyton Manning if the Colts’ 36-year-old quarterback is healthy and available.

“Come on. That’s a no-brainer,” a Jets source said. “If you have a chance to get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning and you don’t do it, then you’re stupid. If I could get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning, then, hell yeah, I would trade Sanchez.”

Jets consultant Tom Moore was Manning’s offensive coordinator in Indianapolis.

“We already have his coach - Tom Moore,” one player told the Daily News. “Plus, he’s a field general and will get everyone lined up. He will get his playmakers the ball. We can win a Super Bowl with Peyton.”

Sanchez threw for a career-high 26 touchdowns, but also committed a career-high 26 turnovers - including nine during the three-game losing streak to end the season.

The Jets finished the season ranked 25th in total offense. Sanchez has two years remaining on his rookie contract, but the players the paper talked to painted a picture that shows a lack of confidence that the former Southern California quarterback has what it takes to lead the team to a championship.

“How can we when he’s not improving at all?” one player said. “He thinks he is, but he’s not. He has shown us what he’s capable of.”

While some team sources said Sanchez struggled to absorb complex game plans created by Schottenheimer, other said other factors came into play - including 39 sacks allowed by an offensive line that backtracked itself in 2011.

“Everybody got down on the quarterback,” a Jets source told the Daily News. “But they weren’t looking at the situations we were putting him in. I don’t think he’s as bad as people are making him out to be. When the — started snowballing and he lost confidence, he never recovered. Then, you saw him making one stupid throw and one stupid mistake after another.”

Among the most scathing comments was that Sanchez has been coddled and can’t handle criticism.

“They don’t want to be truthful with him,” one prominent player told the paper. “They treat him like a baby instead of a man. He goes in a hole when someone tells him the truth.”

 


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