December 19, 2012
Jets clip Mark Sanchez's wings
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
With their team eliminated from the post season, New York Jets fans have got their wish. Sort of.
Yes, Mark Sanchez, he of the embarrassing four interception effort in Monday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, will be benched for this week’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
It won’t be the salvation Gang Green supporters were hoping for, however, as would-be saviour Tim Tebow won’t get the ball. Instead, a guy who has played in just one NFL game in his career, Greg McElroy, will be the starter.
Jets coach Rex Ryan, who has stubbornly and steadfastly stood behind Sanchez all season, finally felt compelled to make the move when it was officially too late. New York was eliminated from playoff contention on Monday after the 14-10 loss to the Titans.
“That’s what I feel in my gut,” Ryan said on a conference call with reporters when asked why the move and why now? “I like what I saw from Greg vs. Arizona, like what I see on the practice field.
“I truly believe it is best for our team right now.”
In what has been a forgettable season for Sanchez and the Jets, Monday’s loss was close to rock bottom. Four interceptions and a fumble in Titans territory late in the game made watching it hard on the eyes. Sanchez, by the way, has 50 turnovers since the start of the 2011 season, more than any other quarterback in the league.
So why McElroy over Tebow? If you saw the latter’s performance on one series in the first half on Monday, there is no need to ask that question.
Meanwhile, the ugly side of Twitter has prompted an NFL investigation into death threats made to Sanchez on Monday night and early Tuesday. The league says it is aware of the threats and its security arm is looking into the matter with the Jets.
BIG BEN ‘ON BOARD’
With the season on the line, the last thing Steelers coach Mike Tomlin needs is a grumpy quarterback.
So on Tuesday, Tomlin made an attempt to diffuse the situation with Ben Roethlisberger, who griped about the play-calling of offensive coordinator Todd Haley in this past Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, Big Ben didn’t explain how play-calling affected his costly turnovers, but that’s another story.
Tomlin’s rationalization for Roethlisberger’s outburst was to put it down to post-loss frustration.
“That was a tough, hard-fought game, an emotional one, and when you come up short, there’s frustrations associated with that, natural frustrations associated with that,” Roethlisberger told reporters in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. “I met with Ben (on Monday). He’s ready to move forward and he’s on board with what we’re doing.”
After the loss, which put the Steelers in danger of missing the post season, Roethlisberger was critical of the strategy employed in the second half.
“I just don’t think we called the right plays to get (tight end Heath Miller) the ball,” Roethlisberger said. “The end of the first half, we were getting into the no-huddle stuff. That’s when we started moving the ball. Taking shots, taking the short stuff, whatever they were giving us, so that’s when we’re at our best and that’s what we need to do.”
DAVIS FINDS KAEPERNICK A BAD FIT
He may be a lone wolf in this department, but prolific San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis actually misses having Alex Smith as his quarterback.
Proving that some players just can’t stand team prosperity, Davis told the Sacramento Bee that he’s frustrated with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick because of the strong working relationship he had with his predecessor. Never mind that the 49ers piled 41 points on the New England Patriots on Sunday night, Davis feels like a forgotten man.
“That’s something me and (Kaepernick) don’t have right now,” Davis told the Bee. “We don’t have it. Me and Alex — we’ve been here. It takes time. It took time for me and Alex to get like that.
“In the beginning, he’d underthrow me, he’d overthrow me because we had to build that chemistry that I would be in that spot right when I need to be. And that’s something that me and Kap don’t have right now. But we’re working on it. We started working on it the moment he walked in.”
In the past four games, Davis has just four catches for 29 yards.
BRENT BANNED FROM ’BOYS SIDELINE
There was predictable outrage when troubled Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was seen on the sideline during the team’s overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But that isn’t going to happen again for the Dallas player, who is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge in Dallas after the collision that resulted in the death of teammate Jerry Brown on Dec. 8. Though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones originally defended Brent’s presence with his team, the Cowboys later agreed with the league that it was inappropriate given the public outrage and sensitivity.
On Tuesday, a Dallas court ordered Brent to wear an electric monitor in conjunction with being forbidden to consume alcohol while he is out on bail.
Don’t expect the Broncos to rest Peyton Manning much down the stretch. “That has not been an option, and not something that we’ll talk about,” Denver coach John Fox told USA Today. “Right now, our main agenda is to get better and improve so we can be playing our best football in January.” ... With nothing left but to play out the string, the Bills placed linebacker Arthur Moats on injured reserve with an ankle injury suffered in Toronto last week. Wide receiver Donald Jones, who missed the Rogers Centre game against Seattle, is also done for the season ... The Cleveland Browns have named Alec Scheiner the team’s new president, replacing the departing Mike Holmgren. Scheiner leaves the Cowboys where he was senior vice president and general counsel.