Mangold says Sanchez a “fantastic” quarterback Dan Leberfeld

Mark Sanchez has center Nick Mangold in his corner. How much does this really mean? Let’s take a close look . . .

Mangold was asked by the New York Post if he believed theĀ  locker room wants Sanchez as the Jets’ quarterback when the regular season begins.

“I believe so,” Mangold told the Post “I haven’t walked around with a pen and paper and taken a poll, but from the feeling I get, the locker room wants to win. Whoever gives us the best chance to do that, we want out there — and at this point, Mark gives us that best chance.”

In a way, this quote would fall into the “what do you expect him to say’ department.

Mangold is very careful with his words, and generally tows the company line, and says what he’s supposed to.

But the more I thought about this quote, the more I realized it isn’t totally devoid of news value.

Mangold is a very smart guy who measures everything coming out of his mouth.

I have an expression I like to use – “slip on the banana peel.”

Reporters constantly try to get players to “slip on the banana peel” with questions phrased in a way to get them to say something inflammatory, something they might regret the next day when they read it in the paper.

It happens all the time with inexperienced players, or players who just aren’t very good at dealing with the media.

I’m not going to name anybody right now, but I see this happen all the time. These are called “trap” questions.

Mangold is too smart to “slip on the banana peel.” I’ve never seen him fall for one.

He knew exactly what he was saying with that answer.

Mangold and other veteran players don’t have a lot of interest in playing with a raw rookie starting quarterback who doesn’t know what he’s doing out there on the NFL gridiron just yet.

Think about it, do you really think you are going to get a lot of veteran Jets, especially when they watched the green, wet behind the ears Smith in the spring practices, say, “Yea, let’s have Geno start, even though he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet?

That makes very little sense.

This is why I didn’t buy the story stating that an unnamed Jets player feels 80-90 percent of the team wanted somebody other than Sanchez to start.

I never bought that, and I never will.

With Greg McElroy knocked out the competition for political reason, Sanchez starting is a no-brainer.

“I think Mark is a fantastic quarterback for us, and I think he can do some good things,” Mangold said. “He showed some good flashes in the spring, getting the system down and commanding the offense way that he should be. We’ll see how training camp plays out, but either way, the competition will make him a better player.”

“Fantastic” is strong. That is definite hyperbole.

Watching Sanchez the last two years, to say he’s a “fantastic quarterback for us,” is a little over the top.

Sanchez was benched twice last year due to bad play.

But like I said yesterday, if it’s Sanchez vs. Smith, it’s a no-brainer. You have to go with Sanchez.

The most important point Mangold made was, “the locker room wants to win. Whoever gives us the best chance to do that, we want out there — and at this point, Mark gives us that best chance.”

I agree with Mangold.

Without saying it directly, Nick was telling us – “please don’t start the neophyte rookie, the veterans don’t want to deal with that.”


June 20, 2011

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