Mark Sanchez might seem like an eternal optimist. But he is no fool.
The Jets quarterback is well aware of the position he’s been put in. While all the attention is being paid to Tim Tebow and the unveiling of the Wildcat Sunday against the Bills, the fate of this team rests in his hands.
But no other starting quarterback in the NFL has had to endure so much uncertainty surrounding his own job security. The Jets’ front office continually lauds Sanchez as the face of their franchise, the guy who will lead them to the promise land of the playoffs.
But the front office also has touted Tebow as the best show in town.
While making the rounds on the political circuit last week, Jets owner Woody Johnson said “I don’t think you can ever have too much Tebow.”
When informed of his owners comment Wednesday, Sanchez just smiled.
“Selling seats, man. Selling seats,” he joked, although there was a hint of truth in his words.
“Obviously, Tim helps,” Sanchez continued. “He really does. He can run it, he can throw it, he can do it all. Hopefully we’ll give teams a fair share of Tebow and see what they can do.”
The Jets quarterback said he didn’t take the owner’s comment as a slight, adding: “He’s excited about him.”
But Sanchez had a rather different – and more telling response – to Rex Ryan’s recent ESPN NY radio comment. The Jets coach said on Monday that if defenses have trouble stopping Tebow in a game, the backup quarterback will get as many as 20 plays (about a third of a game).
Sanchez’s smile disappeared and his tone became serious when he offered his response.
“I mean, I’ve gotta play the cards I’m dealt here,” he said. “And keep working hard, keep leading this team. Do everything I can. It’s our job to work together – Tim and I. So that’s what we’ll do for the betterment of the team.”