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Rex says he's sticking with Sanchez as his starting QB

Mark Sanchez directs his offense during the second

Mark Sanchez directs his offense during the second half of a game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 28, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Rex Ryan remained firm that Mark Sanchez will remain the starting quarterback of the New York Jets.

The morning after his team "took a step back" in an embarrassing 30-9 loss to the Dolphins at home, the Jets coach said he has no plans to make a QB change -- not even after this week's bye.

The issues with the Jets -- now 3-5 overall and 2-2 in a shaky AFC East division -- go far deeper than Sanchez, said Ryan.

"If it's one man, that's easy to do," he said, when asked during a conference call Monday about a possible quarterback change. "But it's not one person."

Despite frequent calls Sunday from his own fan base to replace Sanchez, Ryan said after the game that he never considered replacing him with Tim Tebow.  "I never felt it was the time to do it," the coach said in his post-game interview. "Mark is our quarterback."

And after spending hours going over film, Ryan still doesn't appear sold on the prospect of benching Sanchez.

"Right now, I'm extremely confident,” the coach said of Sanchez, whom the Jets moved up to draft fifth overall in 2009. "If it was one guy, I think that's easy to say we'd make that change. But I think Mark gives us the best chance to win. That's how i feel.

"Can Tim be successful? Yeah, absolutely. And we need to look at that as well. But, in my opinion, Mark is the starting quarterback. He gives my football team the best chance to win."

Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano admitted Thursday that he "can do a better job" of getting Tebow more involved in the offense, particularly in the passing game. But the backup quarterback got just a handful of snaps in Sunday's lopsided loss and ran the ball just once for two yards.

On Monday, Ryan agreed that he and his coaching staff need to take "a hard look" at how they're using Tebow and "what we're asking him to do.

"Are there other things we can do with him? I think you're absolutely right, we will definitely look at."

Ryan couldn't say for sure whether he thought Tebow -- who has rushed for 78 total yards on 23 carries and completed just 2-of-3 passes -- has grown more frustrated in his limited role. But "every competitor wants to be out there playing more," the coach admitted, "so it wouldn't be shocking if that's how he felt.

"We just want to win. I think as a football team, we're frustrated. The fact that we're getting closer and closer, we thought we were getting better as a football team and then we had a big step back yesterday."

But regardless of how big Tebow's competitive fire may be, Ryan (at least for now) isn't budging when it comes to his starting quarterback.

"I think Mark's our guy. I don't think there's any doubt about that," the coach said. "I'm confident in Mark. We just have to look as a whole at what we can do to help. Are there things we can do to help? And that's something that we need to do."

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